• Sports News
  • NFL
  • NFL Draft
  • Brian Branch's 2022 NFL Draft Projection: How high could the Alabama safety go?
Defensive back Brian Branch of Alabama participates in the 40-yard dash during the NFL Combine

Brian Branch's 2022 NFL Draft Projection: How high could the Alabama safety go?

Brian Branch of Alabama attended Georgia's Sandy Creek High School, which also turned out NFL defensive backs like Mike Hilton and Isaiah Johnson, and graduated as the school's all-time interception leader.

Branch is a special player who began playing as a freshman and hasn't stopped since. For Nick Saban's defensive unit, he has virtually played the starring role. Almost every significant sports publication, including CBS Sports, PFF and ESPN, selected Branch to their first-team All-American squad.

Alabama’s Brian Branch is the best safety in the 2023 NFL Draft and he’s playing like it in the Sugar Bowl.

Already has 2 TFLs and now does a great job playing the slot with his body and reading the QB to jump the dig for an interception.

Branch proved himself to be a playmaker in the 2021 College Football Playoffs by being a consistent contributor in his freshman season. After a significant performance in his first season, he was no longer regarded as a bit-part player.

He recorded 55 tackles, nine pass breakups, one QB hurry, one sack and one recovered fumble in his sophomore season with the Crimson Tide. Branch is incredibly productive; he missed no tackles in 2021. As a true freshman, he only missed one.

Brian Branch's status as the finest safety talent in this draft class is undeniable, even though there aren't many definite things going into next month's NFL draft. He is anticipated to be the first safety selected. Many analysts have predicted that he will be selected among the top 20.

Brian Branch is going to be one of them ones. #RollTide

Brian Branch’s strengths and weaknesses

Through his versatility, Brian Branch has shown his worth as a player during his time in college. He is now capable of playing numerous positions throughout the defense, including linebacker, strong safety and deep safety.

Branch is an instinctive player who always seems to be near the ball because of his short-area mobility, athleticism and energy. However, Branch appears much more at ease and has produced the most at the line of scrimmage.

Not enough love is being given to #Alabama S Brian Branch.

6’ 190lbs

He’ll have an immediate impact in Nickel coverage. Physical & excels in both zone and man coverage.

Had an insane Sugar Bowl w/ 12 tackles, 4 TFLs, INT

So versatile and NFL ready

The main issue with Brian Branch's performance is the little snaps he gets at free safety. This means that he needs to use some creativity to imagine himself in a conventional safety role. He wasn't requested to line up in high zones often, and he might be too small to buck up on opposition tight ends.

Branch is an all-around defensive back talent who can perform well in any configuration. Yet, the club that selects him will also get a player who plays with vigor and a love for the game that might help him develop into a strong team captain.

Edited by
Joseph Schiefelbein
See more
More from Sportskeeda