MADISON––Unlike fellow Badgers that competed at the NFL Combine like Jared Abbrederis, James White and Ryan Groy, linebacker Chris Borland chose to try and improve upon his pedestrian numbers put up in Indianapolis a little over a week ago at Wisconsin's pro timing day on Wednesday.
For the most part, he accomplished that goal.
"That was far from my best performance at the Combine, and I improved everything today so I think it was a good decision," said Borland.
Well, not everything. Borland spoke to the media before official numbers were released after scouts got together to compare times on their stopwatches.
Borland ran 4.83 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the Combine but ran the same distance in 4.84 and 4.87 seconds inside the McClain Center on Wednesday, according to times posted at NFL.com. He did, however, improve upon most everything else.
For his part, Borland had a 35-inch vertical, 9' 8" broad jump and a time of 6.75 in the three-cone drill on Wednesday. Those beat his Combine measurements of 31 inches, 9' 6" and 7.18 seconds respectively.
Despite a set of average numbers compared to other linebackers in this year's rookie class, Borland is keeping things in perspective. He knows how you play the game is most important, and that's what made him become the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year this past season.
"I think tape's the most important thing," said Borland. "You shouldn't ignore the numbers. The numbers are important, but the film's No. 1. I think the teams know that. I've talked to position coaches that understand that and are excited."
Borland said he had an informal interview with the Green Bay Packers at the NFL Combine.
Abbrederis Declines to Do Bench Press
Jared Abbrederis is being touted as a player capable of being drafted on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, but there will be questions about his strength and ability to get get off jams at the line of scrimmage after doing only four repetitions of the 225 lb. bench press at the Combine.
Those four reps were the lowest among all players, regardless of position, at the Combine who chose to do the bench press.
Abbrederis had the opportunity to try and improve upon those numbers and put some reservations to rest at Wisconsin's pro day but declined.
"I did more when I was training, but still, that's not my strong point anyways," said Abbrederis. "I could have come here and probably got two or three more, but there really wasn't a need to do it again, because I think seven was the next guy (at the Combine). If I'd do it again, it would still be the lower part. Obviously I didn't do what I want at the Combine, but to come out here and hit seven or eight is still not the best."
Abbrederis said he plays with strength and pointed to his game against highly-rated cornerback Bradley Roby of Ohio State as a game he was able to get clean releases off press-man coverage.
Although he didn't take part in any measured drills, Abbrederis took part in a positional workout, catching passes from a scout from the Oakland Raiders.
Ted Thompson Was a No Show
For the first time in at least four years, Packers general manager Ted Thompson did not attend the Wisconsin pro day.
At least seven other universities also held their pro day workouts on Wednesday, so perhaps Thompson is on the road. Or maybe he's concentrating on the start of free agency, just days away.
Whatever the case, the Packers were represented by director of pro personnel Eliot Wolf and others in Madison.
There were at least 21 NFL teams and one Canadian League team represented as well.
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