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Malachi Moore gives frustrated reaction to Brian Branch not being selected in the first round

Alabama safety Brian Branch (#14) celebrates his interception against Kansas State during second half of 2022 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Andrew Wevers - USA TODAY Sports

Alabama football could have had four players taken Thursday in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Bryce Young, Will Anderson, and Jahmyr Gibbs heard their names called, but Brian Branch did not. As a versatile defensive back, the native Georgian totaled 90 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, three sacks, seven pass breakups, and two interceptions in 2022.

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The 6-foot, 193-pounder was arguably the best defensive player for the Crimson Tide last season.

He projected as a middle to late first-round value, but Branch did not get a call. Malachi Moore, a defensive back in the same 2020 signing class with Branch, gave a frustrated reaction to his former teammate not going first round. Moore knows that whoever gets Branch is getting a star. He helped the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 2020 and two Southeastern Conference Championships. Branch can play nickel ‘Star’ or safety at the next level, but we will see who decides on him.

The second and third rounds of the NFL Draft are Friday night via ESPN at 6:00 p.m. CT.

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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 10+ 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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