The San Francisco 49ers drafted Chris Borland with their second 3rd-round draft pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. San Francisco acquired this pick in 2013 when the traded a second round draft pick down before selecting Tank Carradine.
With NaVorro Bowman out for at least the first six games of the 2014 NFL Season, the 49ers will have a void at inside linebacker to start alongside Patrick Willis. Borland will compete with Michael Wilhoite for the starting inside linebacker spot.
Linebacker-running back who also lettered in basketball, tennis and track and field as an Ohio prep. Was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2009. Backed up weakside linebacker Mike Taylor until Taylor was lost for the season in Week Seven -- played all 13 games, starting five of the final six, and recorded 54 tackles, including 10.5 for loss and five sacks with two pass breakups, an interception, five forced fumbles and a blocked kick. Did not start against Hawaii when the Badgers opened with an extra defensive back. Played through a torn left labrum, routinely dealt with his shoulder popping and had postseason surgery which sidelined him for '10 spring practice. In the fall, managed 7-2-1 in two games played -- started the season opener against UNLV, hurt his left shoulder, sat out against San Jose, then re-injured the shoulder against Arizona State prompting season-ending surgery. Also had surgery in December to repair a tear in his right labrum. Was granted a medical hardship, preserving a year of eligibility. Started all 14 games at middle linebacker in '11 and totaled 143-19-2.5 with five pass breakups, two interceptions and five forced fumbles. Started all 12 games played at MLB in '12, collecting 104-10-4.5 with six pass breakups and three forced fumbles. Did not play against Ohio State and Penn State (right hamstring). Earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the third straight season and was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year in '13 when he led the Badgers in tackles -- amassed 112-8.5-4 with two pass breakups and two forced fumbles in 12 starts at MLB. Strained his right hamstring against Illinois and sat out against Iowa. His 15 career forced fumbles are second-most in FBS history. Started 45 career games.
Borland is a downhill tackling machine who had 50 tackles for loss in his career at Wisconsin. He should at minimum compete for time on special teams with Nick Moody on coverage units for punts and kickoffs.
The 49ers have two draft picks remaining in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft.