Borland added to 49ers' mix at linebacker

The 49ers added talented inside linebacker Chris Borland with a third-round pick. Borland was a three-time all conference performer with Wisconsin.

Chris Borland might not believe it, but there's a good chance he was brought in by the San Francisco 49ers to fill in for injured All-Pro NaVorro Bowman at to start 2014.

"I expect Bowman to make a comeback. He's a great player and it's just still way too early to look that far," Borland said minutes after being taken by the 49ers with the 77th overall pick in the third round.

Bowman suffered ACL and MCL tears in his left knee in the second half of the conference title game and is likely to start the season on the PUP list, forcing him out of the first six weeks of action.

San Francisco has a capable backup in Michael Wilhoite and second-year player Nick Moody already on the roster, but saw the opportunity of adding Borland as too enticing to pass up.

"He's just a baller," Trent Baalke said Friday.

"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 make up. We love the player," said Baalke.

Borland's production clearly outweighs his physical limitations. He ran a 4.83 40 at the combine and has just 29 1/4-inch arms. Still, he finished his collegiate career with the Badgers as one of the most productive defenders in school history.

Borland earned first-team All-Big Ten for three straight seasons while making 420 tackles in his collegiate career. He also owns the conference record for forced fumbles with 15.

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