Andre Branch Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February – 24 – 2012
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"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Andre Branch"Andre Branch

Clemson

Ht. 6-5 Wt. 260

 

Pass Rush:  Andre Branch is a long-limbed, linear athlete.  He can eat up space quickly and uses his length to fend off tackles and bring down the QB.  If he gets a step on the blocker, it’s pretty much over.  He a straight line guy that runs well.  Very good with his hands and excels turning outside speed into inside power.  He plays a little high, although he worked on this from 2010 to 2011.  He can get upright through contact and lose power and balance.  He’s not overly powerful and could stand to add at least 10 more pounds to his frame.

 

Against the run:  Branch anchors surprisingly well for a taller athlete.  Branch plays the run as he’s surging up field to the quarterback.  He’s got excellent eyes and good instincts.  He uses his arm length and active hands to stack and shed.  He has violent hands and uses his long frame to control blocks through contact.  High football IQ as he rarely is caught giving outside contain.  He will need to work on not popping upright on the snap.  Branch, as a run defender, may be able to set himself apart from other DE’s in this draft.  I was more impressed than I thought I would be.

 

Athleticism/Strength:  Branch is a long limbed, linear athlete that is a little tight in the hips.  I think he’s a better fit in the 4-3 due to concerns of him moving laterally on his feet.  He’s not an overly strong guy but he makes up for it with solid technique.  He could stand to add some weight to his frame to hold up better at the point of attack.

 

Bottom Line:  Andre Branch may wind up the top DE in this draft class.  He has the tools to be an elite overall player.  He doesn’t have the get off of the elite speed rushers but he is a true three down player.  If I were doing the drafting I wouldn’t have a problem taking this guy in the mid-first.  Clemson has produced a lot of good defensive linemen over the years and I think Branch has the opportunity to be the best of the bunch.

 

Draft Projection:  1-2

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