Someone who's been a stand-out in the Senior Bowl practices by all accounts is Wisconsin Badger LB Chris Borland. As we may be in the market for drafting a linebacker, I thought I would pull together some info on him..


SENIOR (Measurements taken from Senior Bowl)

LB Borland, Chris Wisconsin Height - 5'11 3/8 245 lbs Hand - 9 3/4 Arm - 28 7/8 Wing - 73 3/8

- ESPN Article -
Borland is short at 5-foot-11. His recruiting profile next to Clowney's is laughable. He played soccer and other sports growing up, didn't participate in organized football until high school and appeared headed for a Division III school until wowing Wisconsin at a summer camp before his senior season. Of the 17 players in Wisconsin's 2009 recruiting class graded by ESPN recruiting, Borland received the second lowest.

He'll finish his career Wednesday as one of the best defensive players in team history, a four-year starter with multiple All-America honors who earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors this season. His NFL draft forecast isn't as promising as Clowney's -- most mocks have him in the second or third round -- but few defensive players have more accomplished college careers.

"He's as good as advertised," Andersen said.

NFL Network - Video with Mike Mayock, Charles Davis & DJ discussing his NFL potential

Senior Bowl performance so far (Will update as I find more)

- Eric Galko (@optimumscouting) -
Tuesday -- "Chris Borland is really taking advantage of the week with another strong performance. He has a real feel for the game and minimizes his size limitations by using leverage and short area explosiveness to his advantage and disengaging quickly from blockers. Scouts have also been impressed with his pursuit effort as he’s been flying to the football all week."

Wednesday -- "Chris Borland excelled again in his diagnosis of plays, composed read steps and instincts. Borland fits in the run game better than any of the backers here, has the hip snap to meet blockers in the hole and stay balanced to disengage for the play. During team drills, he even showcased cover skills by baiting Logan Thomas into a interception on a late shallow cross throw over the middle of the field. Borland will be a riser for us at Optimum Scouting after this week."

- Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) -
"Liked Chris Borland a lot heading into the week. Still do. His instincts are amazing."

- Todd McShay (@McShay13) -
"WISC LB Borland is an animal. Great instincts. Strong this wk as rusher and in cvg. Doesn't have measurables but who cares. He's a player!"

- Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) -
"I think I'm the only 1 that's riding the fence on Chris Borland. Heard "I love that dude" a bunch and "good college player, bad pro" a bunch."

College Stats
Season GP/GS UT AT Tot. Tackles TFL
2009 13/6 36 18 54 10.5 5 5 3 1 3
2010 2/2 5 2 7 2 1 0 0 0 0
2011 14/14 64 79 143 19 2.5 5 0 2 7
2012 12/12 56 48 104 10 4.5 3 3 0 6
2013 12/12 73 39 112 8.5 4 2 2 0 2
Game Footage
vs Ohio St (2013)
vs Arizona St (2013)
vs Stanford (2012 bowl)
vs Nebraska (2012)
vs Purdue (2012)
vs Illinois (2012)
vs Illinois (2011)
vs Michigan St (2011)

Massive thanks to the guys over at Draft Breakdown for those videos, thats why I linked to their site rather than the youtube links. So I'm not very good at analysing players and how they'll project to the NFL (you can decide for yourselves with the videos) but from what I see is a hyper-instinctual linebacker who isn't as athletic as you'd like. Great at diagnosing plays, has a bit of difficulty shedding blocks but knows how to blitz well, play coverage with instincts and, imagine this, a solid & reliable tackler. As Mike Mayock put it, "Y'know what, there are certains time when a kid is just a football player". Obviously, I like the guy and I think we really missed that in our LB corps this year.

In terms of the Dolphins taking this guy, I'm not so sure. I expect him to be a mid-low 2nd/high 3rd round pick - and I'm not sure we take a linebacker that high when we already have four commitments at the position (Misi/Ellerbe/Wheeler/Jenkins). But hopefully our new GM is smarter than that, and can see a massive need for an instinctual linebacker and a massive talent in Chris Borland. I'd love to hear your opinions on him though, and whether you want the phins to pick him up.

HOUSEKEEPING By the way, three guys I'm paying close attention to in the senior bowl and draft coverage are RB Charles Sims, OT/OG Zack Martin, and OG Gabe Jackson. Could be potential fits for the phins in rounds 1-3. Worth keeping an eye on, as they're impressing so far. Other notes - here's a journal that's being updated everyday by Vandy WR Jordan Matthews and Chris Borland on their Senior Bowl experiences - worth a read. Finally, if you want a video breakdown of the entire Shrine Game, look no further.