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Thursday, March 13, 2014
Analyzing Kiper 3.0: Broncos

By Jeff Legwold

Make it three-for-three for the Denver Broncos.

In three mock drafts so far, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has had the Broncos looking for help on defense. In the first, in January, it was Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton and in the second, in February, it was Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby.

But with the Broncos having signed cornerback Aqib Talib and defensive end DeMarcus Ware in free agency this week, Kiper now predicted they'll address the linebacker position with Wisconsin's Chris Borland in his latest look at how the draft's first round Insider could shake out.

Borland's workout numbers don't measure up to some of the other prospects at the position -- he ran a 4.83 40-yard dash, for example, but the 5-foot-11½, 248-pound inside linebacker is all football player. His instincts are top-shelf and you can see him, play-after-play, knocking blockers off balance on his way to the ball carrier.

He has also shown the ability to drop into coverage as well at times and covers plenty of ground when he has to with good play speed.

Borland does have some injury history having missed two games in 2012 with a hamstring issue and was awarded a medical hardship in 2010 when he missed all but two games because of a left shoulder injury.

But he is a quality leader and his coaches have routinely praised his work ethic to scouts.