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Teams may be less likely to take a risk on Te’o in the draft if they don’t believe he can become a dominant player.
Brandt noted how the inside linebacker position doesn’t carry as much importance in the NFL as it once did. In the last 10 years, only four inside linebackers were taken in the first round, although one of them was perennial All-Pro Patrick Willis of San Francisco.
"I think it would be different if it was a quarterback who would change the game," he said. "But linebackers are a piece to the puzzle; they don’t solve the puzzle. Other than Ray Lewis, I don’t know of any linebacker you say, ‘We’ve got to have this guy.’
"[Inside] linebackers are not as important as they used to be. We’re down to one or two first-round linebackers now."
Brandt wondered how Te’o could be so effective during the season, including seven interceptions — "unheard of, like hitting .450 in baseball" — and then so unproductive in the championship game.
"Between now and 97 days from now when the draft comes, there’ll be a lot of people investigating just what took place," he said.
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