Originally posted on DraftAce  |  Last updated 2/19/12
Andre Branch DE Clemson #40 Ht: 6’4″

Wt: 260

  Strengths: Prototypical size. Above-average speed for the position; can make some plays in pursuit. Shows good awareness on the field; keeps his eyes in the backfield and makes adjustments. Impressive motor; plays through the whistle and never gives up on a play. Does a nice job diagnosing run vs pass; isn’t overaggressive with his pass rush and is willing to hang back and let the play come to him. Impressive stamina; wears down offensive linemen throughout the course of the game and maintains his productivity deep into games. Some experience playing with his hand off the ground; may be considered at option at outside linebacker for some 3-4 teams. Weaknesses: Plays too upright at times; needs to stay low to improve the leverage in his bull rush. Pass rush skills are average; doesn’t have the explosion off the snap to consistently win off the edge and lacks the strength to consistently bull rush his way into the backfield. Stats are misleading; many of his sacks are hustle/coverage sacks – he fights hard and eventually wears down the blockers. Likes to go for the strip too often and will miss some would-be easy tackles. Comments: Branch lacks the explosion of an elite pass rusher, but he makes up for it with a balanced game. There are some minor things he needs to work on, but he’s fairly polished for a college defensive end. What’s most impressive is his willingness to play the run – so many college defensive ends want to pin their ears back and fly into the backfield on every play. Branch is willing to be patient and hang back when necessary, and does a nice job diagnosing when it is necessary. He is a prototypical 4-3 defensive end, but he does have enough athleticism to play linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. In a 3-4 system he would do well playing opposite a more explosive pass rusher so the attention isn’t always on him. Videos: 2011 vs Virginia Tech
2011 vs Auburn
2010 vs South Florida 

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