Brian Branch NFL Draft

Brian Branch

  • SAF Alabama
  • Junior
  • #20
  • 6'
  • 193lbs
  • Prospect
  • Southeastern

Prospect Summary

Brian Branch NFL Draft Scouting Report

SAF, Alabama Crimson Tide

Brian Branch is a true junior prospect that has been a key contributor to the Alabama secondary since his freshman year. Over the years, Branch has proven his value as a player through his versatility. Branch has transitioned to playing multiple positions across the defense, aligning at deep safety, strong safety, nickel, linebacker, and has been the end man on the line of scrimmage in certain blitz packages. Branch is an instinctual defender who, through his short-area quickness, acceleration, and high motor, appears to always be around the football. Of all the positional alignments Branch has played in over his career at Alabama, he looks most comfortable and has been most productive closer to the line of scrimmage playing the nickel/hybrid LB role. 

Aligning as a defender in the box, Branch does a good job of play recognition and has the athleticism that allows him to get to any spot on the field. Against the run, Branch has good closing speed and is an efficient tackler. Branch on occasion is a violent tackler that has a physical presence about himself, making him a tone-setter on defense. Against the pass, Branch shows best in zone coverage where he can read the QB’s eyes, jump routes, and deflect passes to be a disruptive defender. Branch also has the range as a defender to make plays on the ball, tracking the ball in deeper portions of the field to intercept the pass.  Branch is also disruptive as a blitzer, timing up the snap and applying pressure to the quarterback.

Branch’s improvements as a player comes from his play in the slot in man-to-man coverage.  On multiple reps, receivers were able to eat up Branch’s cushion when he is playing off-man in the slot, and they can beat him on vertical routes creating separation and an opportunity for a big play. In slot-man situations, receivers can also get to in-breaking routes crossing Branch’s face and getting open. Of all the different situations, Branch looks most uncomfortable and has the most room for improvement in off-man alignments in the slot. 

Overall, Branch is a versatile defensive back prospect who has the ability to make plus-level plays at every alignment. But teams who draft him are also getting a player who plays with intensity and a passion for the game that can help him become an influential team leader. 

Top Reasons to Buy In:

  • Versatile defender 
  • High-level run defender 
  • High football IQ  

Top Reasons For Concern:

  • Ball production 
  • Man coverage     

Size (NFL Combine):

Height: 6′ 0”

Weight: 190 lbs

Arm Length: 30 3/4”

Hand Size: 9 1/2”

Athletic Testing (NFL Combine):

40-yard Dash: 4.58s

Vertical Jump: 34.5”

Broad Jump: 10′ 5”

Short-Shuttle: TBD

Three-Cone: TBD

Bench Reps: 14 reps

Ideal Role: Starting safety/nickel

Scheme Fit: Scheme versatile

TDN Consensus Grade: 84.50/100 (Second-Round Value)

  • Sanchez Grade: 84.50/100

Written By: Keith Sanchez 

Exposures: Texas (2022), Ole Miss (2022), Tennessee (2022), LSU (2022), Kansas State (2022)

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