2023 NFL Draft: Top 10 Safeties and their fits with the Atlanta Falcons
No. 1: Brian Branch, Alabama
2022: 13 Games Played, 99 Tackles, 14.0 Tackles for Loss, 3.0 Sacks, 2 QB Hurries, 2 Interceptions, 7 Pass Deflections, 2 Punt Returns, 65 Yards, 1 Touchdown
2021: 15 Games Played, 55 Tackles, 5.0 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry, 9 Pass Deflections
2020: 12 Games Played, 27 Tackles, 0.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 QB Hurry, 2 Interceptions, 7 Pass Deflections
Brian Branch is a talented player who fits in better as a nickel defender in the mold of a Tyrann Mathieu or a Budda Baker. He's one of the most instinctual and football-intelligent players in the entire class and wins with that more than anything else despite being relatively average as an athlete. He's at his best when he can attack the offense within his zones and makes plays on the balls. Branch is one of the best run defenders in the class and because of his ability to align at either safety or the nickel position, teams will have him at the top of their safety boards.
Branch is definitely a talented player, but he's got some negatives that should drop him to the latter part of the first round or early second round in a vacuum. He's got to get better with his reads and angles when he's playing the deep safety role and fits in better as a strong safety and slot defender. The Falcons shouldn't look at him in the first round because the value just isn't there, but he'd be an excellent fit for them in the second should he fall to their pick there.