Chris Borland – Linebacker – Wisconsin
Size – 5113 – 248 – 4.83
Strong Points – Very productive, instincts, shed, defense run, pass drop, zone coverage, effective pass blitzer
Weak Points – Height, very short arms, will miss some tackles because of his short arms, average timed speed, man coverage
2013 Stats – 112 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, four sacks
Summation – Chris is a fifth-year senior and a three-and-a-half-year starter for the Badgers. He started the last half of his freshman year in 2009 but then got injured in game three of 2010 and took an injury redshirt. He was a starter from 2011 – 2013. He played the Will linebacker position for Wisconsin in 2013.
Borland is very instinctive and very productive. He is the consummate overachiever. When you look at him, you say that he is not supposed to make the plays that he does. He is short wth short arms and has very average speed. Still, he is athletic and explosive with very good short area quickness and change of direction. His instincts and reactions are so good that it allows him to play much faster than he times.
When playing the inside run, he is quick to react and fill. While he can be slow to shed blocks at times because of his short arms, he is able to slip or avoid blocks with his quickness. He has a great feel for plays and is always around the ball. When playing the outside run, he shows very good anticipation and has the lateral agility and quickness to get to the play.
While he has a large number of tackles, he will miss some because he can’t consistently wrap-up with his short arms. He is a hitter and is very competitive.
In pass coverage, he is best in zone. He takes good drops, getting depth, and has good receiver awareness. He can struggle some in man coverage because he lacks the size and speed to consistently stay with bigger players. As a blitzer, he is effective because he can avoid blocks and times his blitz well.
If Boreland were a little taller and had longer arms he would be a first round pick. While he lacks the ideal physical traits to play at the next level, he is an outstanding football player. In the right situation, he can be a starter and will be productive. Don’t ever count this kid out. He just has too much competitive fire!
Grade B 6.5
Jordan Tripp – Linebacker – Montana
Size – 6026 – 234 – 4.63
Strong Points – Size, athlete, speed, instincts, productive, dominates level of competition, pass coverage, competes, tackling
Weak Points – Level of competition, short arms, can get out of control in space, slow to shed at times
2013 Stats – 100 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, three interceptions
Summation – Tripp is a fifth-year senior and a four-year starter for Montana. He played in three games in 2011 before sustaining a season ending injury and was awarded an injury red-shirt year.
He plays outside linebacker. He has good size at 6026 – 234, with the frame to easily play at 240. His only physical shortcoming is short arms. He is very athletic, with speed and very good change of direction.
He is an instinctive playmaker who shows he can dominate a lower level of competition. He is competitive and plays hard every play. At times, he is so intent on getting to the ball that he can get out of control in space and ball carriers can cut back on him.
He is not overly physical and can be slow to shed at times (short arms and average hand use), but he plays so hard that he consistently makes plays. He makes a lot of plays coming from the backside because of his speed and angles. He is usually a good tackler, but at times, will hit and not wrap. He is very consistent versus the inside run.
He is very good in coverage, has the athleticism and change of direction to play man, and has the awareness to be effective in zone. He transitions very well for a linebacker and has very good hands.
While not used a lot to blitz, he is effective and will come hard. He needs to learn some redirect moves and use his hands better.
Overall, Tripp is an athlete who is still a bit raw. He is going to have to get a little bigger to play in the NFL, but he has the frame to do that. He will need a year to develop, but I can see him becoming a starter as a 4-3 Will sometime in his second year. He has the traits to be a good special teams' player while he is developing,
Grade B 6.5
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe
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