49ers’ ILB Chris Borland named to PFWA All-Rookie Team

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Not too many people were high on rookie third-round pick (No. 77) ILB Chris Borland coming out of the draft. They said he was too slow, too short, and too robotic to be a solid two-down linebacker in the NFL. Not me. Back on April 8, I had an itch that Borland should be drafted by the 49ers, as I said:


[Related Article: 49ers Trent Baalke may add depth with Shayne Skov or Chris Borland] 

At 5-foot-11 and 248 pounds, Borland is often compared to another diminutive linebacker in MLB Zack Thomas. A tackling machine as Borland has the high-motor to run sideline-to-sideline, the Wisconsin product would be a nice young addition to the inside linebacker position. A true leader and hard worker both on and off the field, Borland’s rare combination of read-and-react style of play should bode well in DC Vic Fangio’s defense. A tenacious defender with the ability to shed blockers at the point of attack, Borland would be an ideal fit in the 49ers 3-4 scheme.”

49ers.com

49ers.com

Not one month later, Borland was selected by the 49ers. A lucky guess on my part, I then had this assessment as I graded each of the team’s picks, saying:

Analysis: A player I anticipated the 49ers may be targeting, it turns out that Borland was in fact high on the Niners radar. The epitome of selecting the best player available, Borland was an absolute diamond in the rough and my favorite pick of any selection made in this year’s NFL draft. A poor man’s MLB Zach Thomas, Borland’s rare combination of instincts and read-and-react style of play will only push the other inside ‘backers to be better in 2014.

49ers.com

49ers.com

And Borland did that and more as the player known as the ‘Bulldog’ racked up a team-high 107 tackles and 11 tackles for loss despite starting late in the season. Now, Borland can add to his resume as he was voted by the PFWA to the Defensive All-Rookie team.

The only 49ers rookie to make the cut, it looks like the 49ers found a starting inside linebacker for years to come as he continues to prove his doubters wrong.

Below is the complete list of the 2014 PFWA All-Rookie team:

2014 PFWA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

Offense

QB – Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings

RB – Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals; Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams

WR – Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants; Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TE – Jace Amaro, New York Jets

C – Corey Linsley, Green Bay Packers

G – Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns; Zach Martin, Dallas Cowboys

T – Taylor Lewan, Tennessee Titans; Ja’Wuan James, Miami Dolphins

Defense

DL – Aaron Donald, St. Louis Rams; Timmy Jernigan, Baltimore Ravens; Kony Ealy, Carolina Panthers; Justin Ellis, Oakland Raiders

LB – Chris Borland, San Francisco 49ers; Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders; C.J. Mosley, Baltimore Ravens

CB – Kyle Fuller, Chicago Bears; E.J. Gaines, St. Louis Rams

S – Deone Bucannon, Arizona Cardinals; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay Packers

Special Teams

PK – Cody Parkey, Philadelphia Eagles

P – Pat O’Donnell, Chicago Bears

KR – Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins

PR – De’Anthony Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs

ST – Trey Burton, Philadelphia Eagles

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.

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