Monday at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, the defensive linemen and linebackers took center stage. With the bench pressing completed on Sunday, standouts Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack and Wisconsin's own Chris Borland took to the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Here's Borland's full performance, complements of NFL.com:
|40-YARD DASH||BENCH PRESS||VERTICAL JUMP||3-CONE DRILL||20-YARD/60-YARD SHUTTLE||BROAD JUMP|
|Chris Borland||4.83||27||31.0"||7.18||4.27/ N/A||114"|
|Rank among LB||20th||5th||T-25th||14th||12th/ N/A||T-24th|
He started off on the right foot with a strong showing in the bench press, but his 40-yard dash, along with his vertical jump and broad jump, were in the bottom half of the group that tested Monday. But as Ty Dunne from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said, the numbers are what many expected out of the All-Big Ten and Nagurski-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Borland himself, per Dunne's article, is confident he can make an impact at the next level:
"I don't know if there are a lot of players that are a better all-around athlete," Borland said. "I don't think I get a lot of credit for it. I'm small and straight-line speed is not my strong suit necessarily. We'll see how that run goes tomorrow. As far as what it takes to play football, I have all that is required."
Regardless of his times and results, Borland felt the love from many admirers in the media on Twitter:
Pre-empt: I love Chris Borland.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 24, 2014
If you could time instincts, he'd win. RT @JoshNorris: Chris Borland second "unofficial" forty: 4.78. 10 yd of 1.63— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 24, 2014
Yep. Fletcher-like. 14 career forced fumbles. RT @JoeGoodberry: Before he runs, Borland is player I would bet on being in the productive NFL— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) February 24, 2014
Chris Borland can play for my team any day. I'd take him in the 3rd all day long, maybe higher— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) February 24, 2014
Plus, a little love from Land-Grant Holy Land founder Luke Zimmerman:
If you drop Chris Borland down your board for his 40 time you should probably not do whatever it is you do in football.— Luke Zimmermann (@lukezim) February 24, 2014
Wisconsin wide receiver Jordan Fredrick quickly came to his former teammate's defense as a commentator declared Borland wasn't big or fast enough:
Dude just said Chris Borland was TOO short and TOO slow....that announcer just lost all credibility in his profession— Jordan Fredrick (@jsfredrick9) February 24, 2014
Pro Day looms next Wednesday to see if he can improve on some of those numbers (B5Q will be there), but honestly, those numbers will not affect his draft stock. NFL general managers and scouts know the drive, instincts, and intangibles of the 5'11, 248-pound linebacker.
Later Tuesday, former Wisconsin safety Dezmen Southward runs the gauntlet of physical drills in the last day of the NFL Combine. B5Q will fill you in with his results.
Also check out the great article from Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com about the story of former Badgers tight end Jacob Pedersen and how he found his way to Madison.