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Chris Borland would be a good pickup at inside linebacker.
London Fletcher's retirement has opened up a hole at inside linebacker, and Chris Borland would go some way toward filling that void.
Of course, in addition to this, Washington needs to lock up impending free agent Perry Riley to add some experience to the group. Keenan Robinson will again return to the team, but with two pectoral tears in two years, he's not exactly shown he can be relied upon.
Borland has played both outside and inside linebacker in a 4-3 defense, but he made the switch to inside in a 3-4 last year and still delivered a 100-tackle season for the Badgers, in fact posting more tackles than his previous year. When he spoke to Mike Jones at The Washington Post, he attributed his success to a very simple concept:
...I put in a lot of film work. It was a big change in what you were doing with the scheme, physically. … Just playing more laterally in a 3-4.
We used to be a gap defense where you go downhill and fit. This past season, it was read and react and take a few lateral steps, which I had never done in my life. It was a good chance to learn that and grow, and I think that will help me.
Borland is correct in that sense: Strong, versatile players who are willing to put in work in the film room are the ones that last in the NFL.
He has great instincts, vision and an excellent spin move. Shayne Skov may be getting most of the attention for his ability to kill a play, but the quickness with which Borland can get to the ball-carrier and bring him down is impressive.
He is another player who will add reliable and sure tackling to the roster in D.C., showing both aggression and patience when plugging the hole. He's short at 5'11”, which could put some NFL scouts off, but if he fell to the top of the third round, then Gruden and his scouts should pull the trigger.