The Jags got some great value with Andre Branch in the second round. They finally selected a man they were comfortable with to help the pass rush. He isn’t some half-cocked idea pick like Quinton Coples would have been. Nor is he the type of player that the Jaguars wouldn’t really know what to do with like Melvin Ingram.
Gene Smith rightly stuck to his board and decided to go with the player he knew he could be comfortable with to revamp the pass rush.
Branch has great size at 6’4″ and 259 pounds and will provide the physically imposing presence the Jaguars need opposite Jeremy Mincey and complementing the smaller Tyson Alualu and massive Terrance ‘Pot Roast’ Knighton. Oh and he has some skills.
Branch racked up 10.5 sacks for Clemson in his senior year as well as 17 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Not bad for a player that accounted for a total of 77 tackles last year.
The Branch selection isn’t about getting the best pass rusher available (though he is very good) or about getting the biggest man the Jaguars could find (though he is quite massive) or the fastest (his 1.56 ten yard split is nice), but rather about getting a player that will fit well in the Jaguars system.
The Jags system is a 4-3 that relies on basic scheming so players must be able to act instinctively and fulfill their responsibilities. Branch is a player that can do that. He’ll perform well for Mel Tucker and for the Jaguars organization on the whole.
Welcome to the team sir!
– Luke N. Sims