Chris Borland Scouting Report

image: © Phil Roeder

image: © Phil Roeder

Games Reviewed: vs Arizona State (2013), vs Ohio St (2013), vs Stanford (2012) and vs Nebraska (2012)

Size: Chris Borland is undersized at 5’11, but could be smaller depending on whether you believe in the official heights. Usually teams add extra inch or two, which could be knock for Borland, who plays better than his size suggests, and is a player who could fit as a 3-4 inside linebacker in the sub packages or a 4-3 weakside linebacker. – 7/10

Athleticism: He doesn’t have the speed of an Anthony Barr, but has just enough to surprise people – especially when he’s attacking the line of scrimmage and being unblocked at times on blitzes. Borland has the mobility to move sideline to sideline where he has a knack of finding the ball carrier. – 7/10

Run Defence: One of the best players for the Badgers against the run, Borland is able to get behind the line of scrimmage where he had over 35 tackles for a loss in 4 years. Because he able to anticipate the play, Borland is able to fill in the gaps to shutdown the run, though he may have a problem when coming up against more physical Offensive Lineman in the NFL. – 8/10

Pass Defence: Very fluid moving his hips in coverage, he his able to recognise the play and reacts so quickly, taking the first read from the QB. His biggest issue as a pro prospect will be the bigger, taller receivers and tight ends who will have the physical advantage over him. – 7/10

Tackling: 

missed

If Borland has any major issues asides from his height it would be his tackling. When Borland has a chance to tackle someone in open spac,e sometimes he completely whiffs on the tackle when trying to wrap the player and falls flat on his face. He will need to figure out his tackling technique in open space, but overall he is a very physical tackler, especially in the run game. – 7/10

Blitz:

borland

An effective player as a blitzer, where Wisconsin regularly send him from different positions on defence as you can see from the play above #44 highlighted, they send Borland from inside where he is able to time the blitz perfectly, where he just misses the QB a very patient player and doesn’t show any hint that he going to blitz. – 9/10

Pass Rush Ability: As a pass rusher Borland doesn’t have many moves and at times he gets stuffed by the bigger offensive linemen, his main pass rush move is when he tries to do a spin move, but it generally doesn’t come off and gets pushed aside. His best move is when he is simply coming off a blitz, and that’s where he is really effective, as he bull rushes the guard and gets into the backfield. – 6.5/10

spin

Special teams: A very productive player on special teams, where he has been used to defend kickoffs and punt returns resulting in a couple of blocked punts, including a forced fumble against Arizona State which led to a touchdown. Like the way he plays the Linebacker position, Borland is always attacking. – 8/10

Miscellaneous: One of the most productive players in Wisconsin history, Borland has been a very productive player while playing for the Badgers, having accumulated over 300 tackles and over 35 tackles for a  loss (and counting!) in his four year career at Wisconsin. He has shown flexibility with the Badgers,playing in 4-3 and 3-4 defences this season, with Borland playing as the inside linebacker. He was named to the ALL B1G10 team of the year in 2012 after a stellar season and is currently the captain on defence. – 9/10

Overall Grade 68.5/100

The lack of size could hinder him in some people’s eyes, but Borland is able to compensate that with his anticipation of reading the play before it happens, and the fact that he always seems to be around the football. Borland will need to improve on his tackling, and he will labelled too small to start in the NFL, meaning he is most likely be taken on day 3 of the draft, where someone will be getting a football player late on – which will be an absolute steal.  Pro Comparison: Lofa Tatupu

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