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Teams focus less on schemes, more on talent

NFL teams can fall into the trap of judging a LB by the scheme he played in college. Bad idea. The key is to find good players, like Ole Miss' Patrick Willis, talented enough to make the transition, writes John Clayton.

Updated: April 25, 2007, 12:14 AM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

It's a weird time to be a linebacker coming out of college these days.

Over the past couple of years, NFL teams have slowly started to use 3-4 defenses, which is a good thing for linebackers since more jobs are available. Of course, that's not necessarily a good thing for teams scouting linebackers.

Only a handful of college teams use the 3-4 defense, so few linebackers enter the NFL with any expertise in the scheme. Worse, the rapid use of spread offenses ...

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