The third-round rookie has racked up 47 tackles over the past three games. In Sunday’s victory over the Giants, he became the first 49ers linebacker since Ken Norton Jr. in 1995 to record two interceptions in the same game.
Despite starting just four games, Borland is second only to Luke Kuechly in Pro Football Focus’ inside linebacker ratings for the season. He is even beginning to draw consideration for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
“He’s like a thief in the night,” coach Jim Harbaugh beamed Monday, “coming to steal your football.”
He is much like Kiko Alonso the Buffalo Bills former draft pick out of Oregon that came onto the scene and tore it up last season. This year the former 2013 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year is on a mission. He was a demon at the line of scrimmage during his Wisconsin career, but slid in the 2014 NFL Draft due to size (5-foot-11) and straight-line speed (4.83 40-yard dash) concerns.