Well, I'm at it again. Still focusing on the defensive side of the ball, we are looking for the future replacement of London Fletcher. There is a chance that we could lose Riley as well but this seems unlikely now as negotiations are under way. IF we don't resign Riley, than ILB will be a MAJOR priority as we need to fill two spots with starters. However, this is one of the easiest positions to fill. There are starter-quality ILB in FA that could be signed at an affordable price. Even if we turned to the draft, there are starters that can be had in the 4th round. I do feel that as a position of need, it should be address with a pick that could give us the best talent than try to use the lowest possible pick. We are addressing the middle of our defense(ILB, S) and we to find the best possible player or else we'll repeat last year performance all over again. Well time to evaluate a Senior Bowl standout and possible "London Fletcher" clone:
Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin, Sr. (#44)
Height: 5'11"(CBS Sports-Senior Bowl measurements)
Weight: 245 lbs(CBS Sports-Senior Bowl measurements)
Projected 40 time: 4.76s avg (CBS Sports, NFL Draftscout)
Accolades: Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year (2013), All Big 10 1st Team(Coaches & Media-2013)
Stats(2013) ESPN (unofficial): 111 tackles (72 solo), 4.0 sacks, 2 passes deflected
-High motor. This guy doesn't give up on the play whether he is in or not.
-GREAT instincts.Always in the right position to make the tackle.
-Shows good IQ
-Plays faster than his projected 40 time(where have we heard this before.)
-Willing to hit and with pop.
-Can apply good QB pressure(speed) when coming off the edge.
-Can be beaten when going from sideline to sideline.
-Had the shortest arms of the Senior Bowl measurements(28 inches)
-Can sometimes be overpowered on 1-on-1 situations against a stronger player.
-Not able to shed blocks on a consistent basis.
A literal London Fletcher clone. What he lacks in physical traits, he makes up in play. He as described by analysts and coaches as a "football player". Ready and willing to anything to make up for his lacks of size. He does however slides off of tackles which can be blamed on his short wingspan. He is also not able to go sideline to sideline with the quickest of backs. He is however able to put himself in position to make the play and is able to read and react to the QB. He is one of the players who can be a Day 1 starter and has been used to anchor the defense. He will not get the love of a Yawin Smallwood, Shayne Shov or other physical gifted ILB, but I haven't seen many be able to make the right plays like he can.
Projected Rd: mid 2nd-3rd round\
-NFL Senior Bowl(http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000316207/article/wisconsins-chris-borland-compared-to-panthers-luke-kuechly)
-Draftnikcentral.com videos (http://www.draftnikcentral.com/draft-prospects/videos/video-player.cfm?id=2693)
-CBS Sports Analysis(http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1723150/chris-borland)
-USA Today Senior Bowl notes: http://q.usatoday.com/2014/01/22/senior-bowl-draft-risers-fallers-nfl-draft-wednesday/