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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Manti Te'o a Bronco? They should hope

By Bill Williamson

I’ve seen several mock drafts that have the Denver Broncos linked to Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te’o with the No. 28 pick in the first round.

On Monday, I presented my second AFC West mock draft. I have Denver taking Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes. I think Te’o will be off the board before Denver picks at No. 28.

Now, if Te’o is available at No. 28, do I think Denver should take him? Without a doubt, yes.

Yes, even after the confusing, wild hoax involving a fake girlfriend. Te’o has gone from a possible No. 1 overall pick to a national punch line in a matter of weeks.

But I think once the smoke settles, Te’o is still going to be a sought-after player.

If he does fall to the Broncos and they feel comfortable with his side of the story involving the hoax, I can’t see the Broncos doing any better than Te’o with the pick. In the short John Elway era, Denver has taken the approach of taking the best available player. If Te’o falls, I can’t see him falling past Denver.

The Broncos don’t have many holes, but middle linebacker is one of the need areas. Keith Brooking took over as the starter last season, but he is 37 years old. Te’o would become an immediate contributor for Denver.