The humble personality that is Chris Borland will be on a plane bound for San Francisco Bay next week after the 49ers took the Wisconsin linebacker in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft, Friday.
Not expecting to draw a LOT of attention when he steps off the tarmac, Borland already has answered to the media who’s assuming the Defensive Player of the Year in the Big Ten last season is thinking starting spot in the fall.
Not so. Even with Navarro Bowman still recovering from off-season knee surgery.
“I expect Bowman to make a comeback,” Borland said. “I’m not even thinking about (being a starter).”
Even with Borland dodging the idea off the bat, pundits expect he will compete with Michael Wilhoite for Bowman’s spot, should Bowman not be ready to go come mini-camp in August.
With a history that says San Fran won’t be rushing Bowman back quickly, it means whether Borland is thinking about it or not, he could very well be a starter at inside linebacker to open the season.
The San Francisco Chronicle was first to take a few knocks on Borland, though it’s nothing that hasn’t been said before.
“If there’s a knock on Borland, it’s his height at 5-11, and his short arms and 40-yard dash time at the combine (4.78). Also, Borland does not have much experience in coverage. But Borland said that had to do more with his ability as a blitzer than any perceived lack of coverage skill,” the Chronicle said.
On the flip side, Niner Nation’s Ernie Padaon mentioned Borland might offer some upside immediately.
“Borland will attack the line of scrimmage and has great instincts in the middle of the defense. He is disciplined in the middle of the defense and should be a nice playmaker on the defensive side of the ball in a couple of seasons,” Padaon said.