Before I get into the meat and potatoes, I just wanted to introduce myself. This is my inaugural piece in the Shark Tank and I’m very excited to be on board as an Individual Defensive Player (IDP) contributor. While I may not have participated in IDP as long as others (2007), for those that know me, it’s become an obsession of mine and my primary focus. I have participated in many all/mixed-IDP leagues and I have written for fantasyfootball.com (may it Rest In Peace),
Pro Football Focus and Jim Day’s Fantasytaz website. My hope is that, one day, all defense/special teams leagues will go the way of the Dodo bird and fantasy league managers will recognize the specific linebacker positions. We will reach this utopia one day.
On to the prospect
was a 46-game starter while at the University of Wisconsin. He was a menace to the opposition with his tenacity and an all-around beast at inside linebacker for the Badgers. Borland hasn’t gained too much attention at this point, but, from an IDP standpoint he is someone that should be on your radar right now.
He’s a bit undersized at 5-foot-11, but what he lacks in size, he more than makes up for with his natural instincts to the ball and explosiveness. He finished his Wisconsin career with 14 forced fumbles, 17 sacks, and an amazing 50 tackles for loss. He was a tackle machine, compiling 233 solo stops, which included two seasons of 60-plus solos (which should have IDPers salivating). Basically, where you’re going to find the football, you’re going to find
One thing that should get your attention, whether in a redraft or dynasty league, is the fact that Mike Mayock
thinks he’ll start out of the gate, no matter who drafts him. Is it gospel? No, but I trust him as a draft analyst. Again, people will get stuck on size, but he’s quick, bulky and a sturdy linebacker. His 4.83 forty isn’t going to cause scouts to gush, but I like his closing burst. The kid is a football player, knows the game, and if you’ve seen him play, you can’t help but notice him…everywhere.
He played in a 3-4 scheme, similar to the San Francisco 49ers
, but is scheme friendly as he’s played all over at the linebacker position. He’s also going to appeal as a pass rusher, where his size will help him from that standpoint. Again, he finished with 17 sacks and he can appear suddenly from behind the line, taking opposing quarterbacks by surprise, especially those who stand in the pocket.
I see him contributing right away no matter the situation. From an IDP production standpoint, he’s a tackle machine the likes of
Luke Kuechly, Sean Lee
Kiko Alonso. For pu
rely fantasy purposes, pre-draft, I consider him a top-2 dynasty linebacker, behind
As far as a team that gives him the best chance at production, I’d like to see him on Green Bay, Washington, Indianapolis or Tampa Bay since he can excel as a 4-3/3-4 inside linebacker. Pre-draft, he carries LB3 potential and someone that can adapt to the league quickly.
Mike Woellert is a staff writer and part of the Fantasy Sharks IDP Team. For more IDP insight, follow on Twitter @Mike_Woellert.