NaVorro Bowman

With third round picks No. 2 & 3, 49ers add *single* ILB Chris Borland & another redshirt guy


I’m kind of running out of gas on a Friday evening, so I’m going to combine the 49ers’ last two third round picks into one post. Any complaints? Didn’t think so.

Trent Baalke ended day two with two predictable picks. It took 27 trades to get there, but they added a player who appears to be the No. 2 inside linebacker in most prospect rankings, Chris Borland out of Wisconsin. Borland got a chance to chat for the first time with the 49ers beat writers. I wasn’t in Santa Clara today due to some unavoidable errands I had to run, but I have my guesses as to who might have asked the last question:

Q: When will you be able to move out here full-time?

CB: “I’m not quite sure yet. I don’t have anything holding me back. I don’t have a girlfriend and I don’t have anything else going on. So, the number one priority is to get out to San Francisco and to get to work as soon as possible.”

Q: As far as the final exams, have they taken place at Wisconsin?

CB: “I graduated in December, so that’s not an issue.”

Q: So, you can be here on Monday?

CB: “Yeah.”

Q: Do you want us to advertise the fact that you don’t have a girlfriend yet?

CB: “No, don’t worry about that. I’ll figure that out.”

Possible girlfriend question askers: Eric Branch or Matt Barrows.

I thought there was an outside shot the 49ers might take Shayne Skov to replenish their middle linebacking group, but when I voiced that opinion on Twitter a while back I was told that Skov is too slow. Borland isn’t exactly a burner (he ran a 4.83), but the 49ers really like his playmaking ability.

“Well, it’s Wisconsin. I’m from Wisconsin,” Baalke said.

“How can you not love him as a football player? Not tall enough, not fast enough, arms are too short, you hear all of that. We just love the makeup. We love the player. He’s everything you’re looking for from a DNA standpoint. He loves the game. He’s a smart football player. He’s an extremely instinctive football player. He’s overcome that lack of arm length. He’s overcome that lack of speed that is being talked about. He’s just a baller and he’s going to get thrown into the mix and then it’s up to him from there. But, we expect him to come in and compete.”

Borland forced 14 fumbles and registered 17 sacks in his time with the Badgers.


btBaalke then took another redshirt guy. This time it was Brandon Thomas, a guard out of Clemson who tore his ACL during a private workout with the Vikings. I’ve made my feelings known on the ACL guys. Long diatribe short, I think Baalke has way too much confidence in modern medicine.

But he’s the man with the plan, and he explained what they’re looking to do with Thomas.

“Get him healthy. It was an unfortunate thing. He’s a great young man. Just tore his ACL. It was unfortunate in a private workout. We really had him valued high. He was the highest player on our board once again when we made our pick. It was just, the value was too high to pass up. He’s a guy that’s going to come in here, rehab, most likely redshirt just like [RB] Marcus [Lattimore] did a year ago and we’ll see where he’s at after he goes through all of the rehab. But, we expect him to rehab fine.”

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