NFL insider reports Falcons in draft market for safety, mentions Brian Branch as fit

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The Falcons are doing their due diligence on this safety class, according to Matt Miller of ESPN, who mentioned Brian Branch as a possibility on Day 2.

“The source also mentioned wide receiver and safety as areas Atlanta will attack on Day 2 of the draft. Brian Branch (Alabama) is the top-ranked safety in the class and won’t be on the board long if he makes it to Day 2. Atlanta could use him in the slot or on the back end next to new signee”

Branch is slotted to go in the mid-to-late first round, but there’s a chance the Falcons could trade back into the first round or trade down from the 8th overall pick. The Alabama product is a versatile defensive back that can play in the slot, on the backend, and even on the line of scrimmage. That kind of versatility is extremely valuable in today’s NFL.

Branch’s instincts, football IQ, versatility, and aggressiveness are his most desirable traits. He diagnoses plays quickly, can shed blocks, and attacks ball careers, logging 14 tackles for loss this season. As a nickel safety, he would thrive near the line of scrimmage. He’s not some elite cover man, so he’d have to improve in that facet of his game before becoming a premier defensive back, but I would still love to have him in Atlanta.

Whenever I watched the Crimson Tide this season, Brian Branch was the guy that stood out, which is impressive considering that defense featured a lot of talented players, including Will Anderson.

It’s not just Brian Branch either; the Falcons are in the market for a safety, hosting Illinois product Sydney Brown, who is a similar player as Branch. He’s better suited to be playing around the line of scrimmage in a rover-type role instead of on the backend.

Regardless of who the Falcons draft, it seems they’ll be targeting a defensive back.

Photographer: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

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