- 2013 ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM (COACHES): Chris Borland (UNANIMOUS), Wisconsin, Linebacker...Borland, finished the regular season in a tie for fifth in the Big Ten, averaging 9.27 tackles per game. His 102 total stops were the fifth-most of any Big Ten player despite the fact that he missed an entire game -- and the majority of another -- due to injury. Borland was one of just two unanimous first-team selections by the coaches, along with Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard at defensive back. - Wisconsin football
Full Chris Borland News Wire
A two-star linebacker out of Kettering, Ohio, he saw immediate action at Wisconsin as a true freshman and is well on his way to being one of the most productive defenders in program history, currently with 309 career tackles. Borland already holds the Wisconsin career record for forced fumbles (13) and has made an impact behind the line of scrimmage (41.5 tackles for loss).
The highly instinctive, physical (and productive) Borland certainly looks like a candidate for this year's Rang's Gang, which highlights a group of prospects who may not possess the ideal size or athleticism, but are terrific football players.
His lack of NFL size and arm length will be tough to overlook for scouts, but he is a heady player who doesn't make many mistakes and has the productive resume that should get him drafted sometime on the draft's third day. (9/20/13)
Strengths: Heady, passionate player. Consistently diagnoses action correctly, attacking seams to make plays near the line of scrimmage and showing better than advertised speed and change of direction while dropping into coverage. He is a no-nonsense LB, showing impressive pop and determination to get to the ball. Borland is disciplined in space and is rarely fooled, showing good body positioning and timing in coverage.
Weaknesses: Despite stellar production, Borland's pedestrian size and athleticism hurt, but there is some validity to the Zach Thomas comparisons. He lacks elite speed and range to consistently play sideline-to-sideline, but effort and motor aren't questions - his body and mind are always at full-go. Lack of length shows near the line of scrimmage.