Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Chris Borland Could Make Immediate Impact for San Francisco 49ers

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers may not have gotten a “steal” when they selected former Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Chris Borland with the 77th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but they had a pretty good player land in their lap.

I personally did not see Borland falling into the third round. I thought for sure he would be at-worse a late second rounder. Shows how much I know, right?

The general consensus is that Borland will compete for the starting spot left open because the injured NaVorro Bowman is still recovering from knee surgery. We may all be thinking about that, but Borland (apparently) has not.

I expect Bowman to make a comeback. I’m not even thinking about (being a starter).


Fair enough, but a lot of people are thinking about the former Badger possibly starting for the 49ers. Borland is a Jim Harbaugh-type kind of guy. A no-nonsense, hard nosed, bring your lunch pale because you’re in for a long day type of guy. And for a team that watched their rival Seattle Seahawks win with a stout defense, the Niners are looking to do anything to improve on an already really good defense. San Francisco added safety Jimmie Ward from Northern Illinois before they drafted Borland.

Mel Kiper, Jr. liked the Borland pick. Todd McShay was on board with what the Niners are trying to accomplish. Bill Polian on the other hand, not so much.

He’s lacking a little bit on the athletic side. In a 3-4 where he can just plug and play, that’s kind of OK. In a 4-3, he’s not a fit at all because the speed and the lateral movement isn’t what you want.


I respect Polian’s opinion and everything he has done in the NFL, but I couldn’t disagree more. I think Borland will fit real nice into what San Francisco is trying to accomplish. He’s a hard worker and a proven leader. Without a doubt he will compete for the starting spot if Bowman is not ready to come back at the start of the season.

And Borland may not be worrying about competing for the starting nod, but you better believe he will fight as hard as anyone for a shot at starting his rookie year in the NFL.

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