The 2023 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Brian Branch 2023 NFL Draft Profile.
Brian Branch Background
Size: 6-foot, 190 pounds
2022 stats: 90 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 7 passes defended
Branch continually improved during his time at Alabama and was a real impact player this past season. Now he is in the 2023 NFL Draft.
As a four-star recruit out of Georgia, Branch signed with the Crimson Tide in the class of 2020. He made three starts and played a lot as a freshman with 27 total tackles, one interception and seven passes defended. He helped Alabama win a National Championship that season. His role increased as a sophomore, as he totaled 55 total tackles and nine passes defended. The Crimson Tide made the College Football Playoff, but lost to Georgia in the National Championship Game. In his junior season, Branch had his best season yet with 90 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, two interceptions and seven passes defended. He led the Crimson Tide to an 11-win season, which included a win in the Sugar Bowl.
After the bowl game, Branch decided to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft and forego his remaining eligibility. He is a projected first-round pick.
Brian Branch Strengths
Branch is one of the most versatile players in the draft class. At Alabama, he was able to line up at corner, nickel and at safety. His best fit in the NFL is at safety, but defensive coordinators will love to move him around. He can cover in man-to-man or zone, including in double or single-high coverage. Branch can come up in the box and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Teams needing secondary help of any kind can consider taking Branch.
His football intelligence and awareness are among the best in the class for the position. Branch has excellent play diagnosis skills, which he uses to be in position. If he sees run, he can trigger quickly downhill to make a play on the ball. In coverage, he shows great recognition of routes and anticipates where the ball is going to go.
He has great range, which makes him a candidate to play single-high or double-high coverage. His instincts help get him in position, but he can travel far to go make plays on the ball in coverage. As mentioned, against the run he is able to use this range to make tackles all over the field, even behind the line of scrimmage.
Brian Branch Weaknesses
Branch can clean up his tackling a bit for the next level. He is a good help against the run because of his effort and range, but he could finish plays off with a cleaner form tackle. Branch can sometimes dive at players’ ankles or drag players down instead, which could lead to broken tackles at the next level.
While he is able to cover in man-to-man, he may struggle to mirror receivers at the next level. He used his top-end instincts and route recognition to help during his college career, but against elite athletes in the NFL he could struggle. That is why he likely fits in better as a safety in the NFL.
He has solid ball skills, but his production doesn’t match that. Branch had just three interceptions in his college career. He tracks the ball pretty well, but he needs to be more aggressive in going for interceptions and passes defended.
Projected Draft Range: First-Round Pick
Draft Grade: First-Round Pick
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