COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 15: Defensive end Andre Branch #40 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates during the closing moments of the Tigers' 56-45 win over the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium on October 15, 2011 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The last time the Jaguars had a pass rusher with double digit sacks was 2006 when Bobby McCray finished with 10 sacks. While Jeremy Mincey is a solid, every downs starter that pushes the pocket, the reality is that they haven't had a player that's a consistent threat to sack the quarterback since Tony Brackens.
The Jaguars will hope to get that player with Andre Branch whom they selected 38th overall (the sixth pick of the second round). Many mock drafts had Branch sneaking into the latter half of the first round and SBNation's Mocking The Draft had him ranked as the 24th best draft prospect. While there are negatives with Branch's play, there really isn't a whole lot not to like with this pick.
Andre Branch: "I feel like one on one I can’t be blocked and with that mentality I know I can’t be stopped."— jaguarsinsider (@jaguarsinsider) April 28, 2012
Branch is a high motor player that is able to get low to the ground and dip around the edge of the offensive line very well. Most draft analysts rave about Branch's ability to give a second and third effort on plays in a relentless pursuit of the quarterback.
But as is customary with every prospect in the draft, there are always negatives that keep that player from going earlier. For Branch, it's a lack of explosive burst off his first step that concerns many. Slightly undersized at 6-4, 260 pounds, that first step becomes much more important for pass rushers.
The Jaguars will have to hope that Branch's relentless motor, ability to dip and turn the corner and his strong ability to use his hands against offensive lineman will make up for that lack of explosive burst.
Branch: At the end of the day, I know who I am as a player and as a person.It’s not anything cocky at all, just all confident."— jaguarsinsider (@jaguarsinsider) April 28, 2012