One of the high floor players of the draft, Branch is the best pure tackler in this class. He's perfect to bring reliability to the middle of the Robert Saleh's defense.
Branch played 550 of his 739 defensive snaps in the slot in 2022. While his ability to come down hill and decimate the run game is a weapon, he has the awareness and movement skills to handle other roles.
Although a mediocre tester, Branch has on-field play speed and instincts that stand out.
He's extremely comfortable dropping into zone coverage, reading the quarterback and shows above average click and close to break on underneath routes. His timing when reacting to routes and making a play on the ball in man coverage is advanced.
It's very clear the work he puts in for film study is on a different level. There were multiple plays where he ran his assignment's route better than the actual target.
Overall, Branch requires some extra projection because of his specific nickel role in college. With that being said, he's a fundamentally sound tackler, displays toughness, coverage instincts and a high IQ. If he was more athletic, he'd be a lock as a top 15 pick.