Andre Branch   DE/OLB   Clemson


 Round 7


Andre has good size to play college football.  He plays defensive end in a 4-3 defense for his college team and takes a lot of snaps. He seems to be athletic enough to play some linebacker positions and has the agility to cover players coming out of the backfield for about 20 yards.  Andre has been a productive football player at the college level.  The question is, can he be as productive at the NFL level?



Right now on film I do not see the necessary skills to be a productive pass rusher in the NFL.  I also do not see the athleticism to be a productive player at the NFL level.  Andre has good agility, but his foot speed and quickness are lacking and his change of direction skills need to improve.  When he comes off the line and engages, he cannot get off blocks and does not have any real pass rushing skills and quickness to make more than one move when getting into the backfield.  He does keep fighting and most of his tackles and QB pressures are the product of plays breaking down.  He is fluid enough to cover players off the line of scrimmage, but because he lacks the speed to stay with them, he is strictly a zone coverage type of player.  He shows no explosion off the line of scrimmage in a three point stance or standing up.  In fact, he is one of the slowest defensive linemen off the line I have seen in this draft.  I'm not sure what his numbers will be at the combine, but I can tell you this, if they are good than he does not play to his numbers which may be even a bigger concern.  



For me personally, I don't see a reason to draft Andre.  However, I profile for 32 teams and Andre right now is being considered as a possible second round draft choice.  That means somebody sees more in his abilities than I do and who am I to tell a player who has marginal athletic talent that he can't be successful at the next level?  I don't see anything wrong with his character and he gives good effort on every play and that to me means he has a chance to stay on a roster and produce.  That's if he wants it bad enough and right now I don't see that special type of effort in his play on the field.

 The BS Detector 

 Drew Boylhart  Feb /12