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Next Nitschke? Not Today's NFL

Once upon a time, middle linebackers like Ray Nitschke dominated the league. Now, the position is practically an afterthought. Nick Barnett is one of only four drafted in the first round since 2000, and none were drafted until the third round this year.

Most pundits correctly predicted that Rolando McClain would go off the board in the top 10 of the 2010 draft, but the former University of Alabama middle linebacker appeared somewhat surprised when the Los Angeles Raiders chose him with the eighth overall selection in last year's lottery. "I really wasn't sure that teams picked middle linebackers that high anymore," McClain said at the time...

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