Breakdown of Wisconsin LB Chris Borland (Senior Bowl, career tape and other notes)

Discussion in 'NFL Draft Forum' started by JakeMcAwful, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. JakeMcAwful

    JakeMcAwful Irish Dolphan

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    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)

    [TABLE="class: sortable, width: 100%"]

    LB
    Borland, Chris

    Wisconsin
    Height - 5'11 3/8
    245 lbs
    Hand - 9 3/4
    [TD="class: ranks, align: center"]Arm - 28 7/8[/TD]
    Wing - 73 3/8
    [/TABLE]

    - ESPN Article -


    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

    [TD="align: center"][TABLE="class: grid, width: 500"]




















































































    Season
    GP/GS
    UT
    AT
    Tot. Tackles
    TFL
    QBS
    FF
    FR
    INT
    PD
    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
    Totals
    55/48
    234
    186
    420
    50
    17
    15
    8
    3
    18


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    [/TABLE]
    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.
     
  2. FearTheBeard

    FearTheBeard FearTheBurke

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    Those arms are freakishly short, but it shouldn't matter. Some guys can just ball, if he's there in the 3rd he'd be a great pick.
     
  3. JakeMcAwful

    JakeMcAwful Irish Dolphan

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    Agreed, he'd be perfect at the top of the third. If they want him though, our #20 in the second may be needed. Yeah, arms that short could lead to more missed tackles if the technique is off.. Luckily his technique is pretty good but its something to keep an eye on.
     
  4. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    Love the guy. Don't know if he'll last to the 3rd. I would spend a 2nd and not look back.
     
  5. finfan54

    finfan54 A True Fan Donator

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    I would only go 2nd round if we trade down and pick up another 2. Otherwise I am waiting. If you cant get him in 3rd pick up the princeton kid at DT.

    If these alot of these guys stock rise, that means others will fall. Let the draft come to you. Thats what Cincy does.
     
  6. JakeMcAwful

    JakeMcAwful Irish Dolphan

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    Sometimes the move needs to made to get the guy you want.. We've been left hanging dry a lot when we waited around - e.g. Cordy Glenn taken one pick ahead of Jon Martin, Jimmy Graham left until the fourth round. I'm not saying Borland is worth the potential trade up, just sometimes its necessary if the right talent drops.

    By the way, I love your mock in your sig. Give me Martin / Moses / Borland or Skov (or Christian Kirksey) in the first three rounds and I'll forget everything about this GM mess.
     
  7. JakeMcAwful

    JakeMcAwful Irish Dolphan

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    By the way, after watching the Senior Bowl - nothing about my opinion on Borland has changed. He showed exactly the same skills he championed in college. He sifted through traffic, made great tackles (8 of them, 1 for loss) and forced a fumble on a great read on an RB dumpoff. He's still limited athletically, and could see his stock drop as a result of this. I noticed one or two times where he got his feet caught in coverage, but its hard to know if that was indecision or just nerves/not being familiar with scheme or teammates.

    Three other players that piqued my interest were TE Crockett Gilmore, RB David Fluellen and LB Christian Kirksey. I haven't done any more research into these guys, but they should all be interesting Day 3 options for us.
     
  8. utahphinsfan

    utahphinsfan Puck Fitzburgh

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    I'd go w/ Morris from Iowa in the 5th.
     
  9. sinPHIN

    sinPHIN A True Fan

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    I want this guy bad. his instincts are crazy. he would instantly upgrade this d. take him in the second he is worth it no question.
     
  10. Fin Thirteen

    Fin Thirteen FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    The kid is tiny. If you want to take a chance that his size won't limit his effectiveness in the NFL, then I put it to you that a second rounder is a very high price to find out. Especially with a talent like Smallwood in the second and guys like Lamin Barrow and Shayne Skov in the mix a little further down.

    I value instinct more than just about anything at LB, but you have to be prepared to accept the ramifications of having a super-instinctual player arrive at the right place and the right time, and be unable to physically prevent his target from gaining yards. At it's most basic level, Borland has to ankle tackle most RBs, TEs and receivers to be sure of taking them down. Watch the tape. He often starts by wrapping up high and then slips down to take the legs. As human beings are about 2 yards high, every tackle he makes surrenders close to 2 yards more than a LB who can stop a runner in his tracks. That's why RBs who always fall forward have better stats than those who don't. Falling forward with Borland around your ankles isn't hard. Falling forward with Karlos Dansby in your grille is hard.

    In many cases, he just won't stop a guy at all, even if he diagnosed the play perfectly. I'm not even bringing up his very short arms at this point, which instantly limits his range in a big way.

    I might be prepared to live with that on my roster, but not with a second or even third round pick.

    PS I also rate Wisconsin very highly as a producer of NFL-grade talent. The buyer beware is that some players have reached close to their max under the Badgers programme.
     
  11. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    i tend to agree with this...the instincts though are quite high...barrow of lsu is someone that has caught my eye but not as instinctual i think the kirkley kid for iowa is another solid lb and i like his teammate morris instincts even if i dont know much about his range

    we could do worse than borland with a 2nd rounder god knows we have done much worse but for me that size bothers me and he is a dive and ankles tackler a lot...he will struggle at the poa unless he can work his way thru trash and find the football clean etc...i don't know tough kid to evaluate...and i think in coverage there will be come issues...looks like mike only to me...might be more inclined if i felt he could hold up in coverage at weak but i dont

    i'd probably be more inclined on a 3rd rounder there...don't think i'd pull the trigger in the 2nd...gonna be a lot of people either way wrong on this or way right i see no in between here

    kid finds the football though...no doubt about it...plays very smart...even if it is in a small package
     
  12. Fin Thirteen

    Fin Thirteen FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Lavonte David's knock coming out was he was a bit undersized and he's 2 inches taller than Borland with a frame to put more weight on. David's arms were inches longer. David had the resume and the instincts too and he went in the late second, was it? (BTW, Hickey/Dominik traded up to get him, they liked him so much - Ireland trades up for Daniel Thomas and Will Davis). Khaseem Greene got taken in the fourth last year. Michael Mauti got taken in the 7th. Did Chase Thomas even get drafted? I don't think so, iirc.

    Yawin Smallwood is twice the LB that Borland will be in the pros, and he's there in the second this year.

    What I don't get is why you would take the risk at that level? This guy will fall in the draft and someone will get a value pick in the 4th or 5th at the earliest, is my guess.
     
  13. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    lavonte david was a weakside olb though prospect you could get away with that size more there than on the mike in todays nfl...borlands a tough call that's all i know...he reads keys well and has a feel for whats coming and he finds the football...the point about guys always falling forward is one i agree with

    khaseem green if you saw him this year showed zero instincts was lost...just terrible...

    i dont know...what i do know is instincts at lb are a must...
     
  14. Fin Thirteen

    Fin Thirteen FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    I'm just making the point that there's no need to take a physically limited LB in the second when the draft tells you these guys will always fall.
     
  15. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    i think that's probably right but fall out of the 3rd round i doubt it...again though tough call...only takes one team
     
  16. JakeMcAwful

    JakeMcAwful Irish Dolphan

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    I will admit that Borland may not be the best fit for the 4-3.. His athleticism will get exposed a lot more there with him handling more coverage duties. I still think he'll be a good player, but it may not be for the phins current system.

    Smallwood is a great find though, and if here's there for us at #50 I'd be calling for him. Hopefully we can be active with OL in free agency, so we can spend fewer draft picks on it (we have to use at least two though, no doubt).. Would allow us to pick up very good LB and RB in the earlier rounds.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2014
  17. Fin Thirteen

    Fin Thirteen FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Let me offer you a Chris Borland clone you can have in the final rounds or UDFA. Jake Doughty of Utah St. Similar build, 6ft and 235 or something, the guy is a machine. 148 tackles, 45 solo, 2 PDs, 2 sacks 1 Int.

    Part of one of the top 3 run stopping defenses in the NCAA. Only 2 teams got over 100yds rushing all year. Doughty was a huge part of that.

    This kid may not even get taken in the 7th, as there is zero buzz about him.

    This is from last season against LA Tech. Doughty is #51, playing mostly Mike.
    [video=youtube;keIVOvePCaY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keIVOvePCaY&list=PLnssIg3jR71Vt-COsermK5RKI7ClKJwMh[/video]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2014
  18. Show Me Your TDs

    Show Me Your TDs My head's on Fire!

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    I see the positives in Borland but I would not make the selection until round 3 at the earliest. Off the charts instincts but limited physically

    ---------- Post added at 11:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:13 AM ----------

    I've seen some of his game and I have no doubt we have his scouted. We have too many western scouts not to have the kid in our sights if they think he fits our d. Good find though.
     
  19. Hoot

    Hoot Keeper of the Old Code Finheaven VIP

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    I would love to see Borland in a Fins uniform.
     
  20. Digital

    Digital Starter

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    I like him. I'm not sure about how high we need to draft a MLB, and given the decent production and high salary we paid Ellerbe, I doubt we draft an MLB in rounds 2-3. For the Dolphins, this draft needs to be about the OL. But, he does have that Zach Thomas, Sam Mills makeup. He is a guy who is a solid thumper in a small package that makes up for lack of size and length with extremely good instincts. As a prospect, I could see him being one of those surprisingly good guys who is drafted lower than he should because of position (MLB/ILB are historically drafted low) and lack of measurables. It worked out OK for Seattle drafting Bobby Wilson though. :)
     
  21. Digital

    Digital Starter

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    Hey man, did you watch that video you posted? It is almost entirely Utah State on offense ... so skimming it I saw zero footage of them on defense or anyone on either team as number 51. I think you accidently posted the wrong video. If not, would you mind letting me know where in that video your guy shows up? I'm always interested in game footage of players, even highlight reel stuff, but I'm missing it on this one.
     
  22. Fin Thirteen

    Fin Thirteen FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    You're right, posted the wrong one!

    [video=youtube_share;KLN15YaVgAM]http://youtu.be/KLN15YaVgAM[/video]
     
  23. ahmilli

    ahmilli Rookie Finheaven VIP

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    Looks really good
     

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