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ESPN NFL Draft analyst praises versatility of Alabama DB for next level

Brian Branch drops back into coverage against Texas A&M
Photo comes via Alabama Athletics

Alabama will lose its two safeties — Jordan Battle and DeMarcco Hellams — to the NFL Draft after the Allstate Sugar Bowl, but will a third name from its defensive secondary join them?

Brian Branch, a junior, is drawing attention from draft pundits as a possible high-round draft choice. As a starting nickel cornerback for the Crimson Tide, he can play anywhere in the secondary. Branch has been productive in Nick Saban’s defense since he arrived in 2020 as a four-star from Georgia. He has 78 total tackles, good for third on the team this season. Branch stands with 10 tackles for loss, two sacks, seven pass breakups, an interception, and two quarterback hurries. He also has a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown. The 6-foot, 193-pounder is an exceptional tackler, blitzer, and run-stopper. Branch covers much ground all over the field and has been Alabama’s best defensive back for much of the year. According to ESPN’s Jordan Reid, Branch is a ‘great fit’ for today’s National Football League. The draft analyst praised Branch’s versatility as a defender.

He is not focused on his next move right now. Branch wants to help the Tide defeat Kansas State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

RELATED: Former 4-star OL stepping up for Alabama in Sugar Bowl prep for K-State

He may have his decision after Saturday’s matchup. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith. 

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 15 years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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