Alan Branch is ready for the next stage in his life; that is of course, if he can bring his coloring books along.
The former University of Michigan defensive standout destroys running backs on the gridiron and tackles coloring books in his down time, because, in his words, they help him relax. You have to wonder what’s in those coloring books, considering he amassed 25 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception, three fumble recoveries and two forced-fumbles in 13 games in his final season at UM.
In early January, Branch didn’t register for spring classes, fueling speculation that he would forego his senior year for the NFL. He did just that, declaring for the draft on Jan. 9, and instantly became the most sought-after defensive tackle in this year’s class. But after an unimpressive pro day and questions about lingering injuries, his draft stock plummeted.
Once a top 10 prospect, Branch slid out of the first round and to the Arizona Cardinals with the top selection of round two. After his impressive junior season at UM, it appeared the better decision – at least finically – might have been to stay for his senior season and enter the draft next year. What’s done is done, however, and Branch will look to contribute in the desert to an already underrated defense.
Most rookies – especially along the offensive and defensive lines – have to pack on weight in order to effectively compete at the NFL level. But with Branch standing 6-6 and 331 lbs., his size makes him NFL-ready now, which was one of the reasons the Cards traded up in round two to nab him. He has impressive strength and often commanded double-teams in college. He’s perfect in a two-gap system and has surprising quickness for a man of his size. He is very effective when he can bull rush an opponent and tackles extremely well.Due to a broken hand, Branch missed the first five games of his rookie campaign. His struggles lasted all season as he only finished with nine total tackles. Hopefully he can stay healthy for all of next year and become the player most believed he would coming out of Michigan.
Information sites on Branch
Arizona Cardinals Official Player Bio: Alan Branch
Career notes, photos and stats on Alan Branch can be found at the Official Website of the Arizona Cardinals.
NFL.com Player Profile: Alan Branch
Find a small profile, game logs, stats and merchandise on Alan Branch at NFL.com.
Rotoworld Player Page: Alan Branch
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on Alan Branch for your fantasy football team.
Alan Branch Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on Alan Branch's life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
Alan Branch destroys Anthony Morelli
Watch Alan Branch crush Penn State’s Anthony Morelli on YouTube.com.
Latest on Branch
Branch had a rough rookie campaign, finishing with only nine tackles and no sacks. He also missed the first five games because of a hand injury.
Digging up Alan Branch on the web
Cards trade up for Branch
The Cardinals had to work a deal with the Raiders in the second round to secure their potential starter at nose tackle.
Newest Cardinal Branch ready to prove himself
Alan Branch walked into the draft with a chip on his shoulder. Now he’s ready to show all the teams that passed on him what they’re missing.
Alan Branch Makes the Cardinals Tough
Some feel defensive tackle Alan Branch is a soft and lazy, but most think he’s a destructive force ready to prove doubters wrong.
Branch ready to prove doubters wrong
Alan Branch has a few choice words for ESPN’s Mel Kiper who has been just one of many to doubt the newest Arizona Cardinal: “After these next couple of years, I’m going to make sure he eats every word he said.”
Branch confident in his abilities
Alan Branch using doubters for motivation.
On if he can play in the NFL:
"I was able to see what other players in the league are like other than my own teammates. It really reassured me that I'm supposed to be here and that I do have the talent and technique to keep up with these guys, and maybe even dominate later on."
On competing for a starting role with former UM teammate Gabe Watson:
"I can't call myself a competitor and go out there and expect to be second team. I'm working my hardest to try to get first team and so is he. Honestly, if both of us are doing that, we're just going to get better."
On falling to the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft:
"I've been over that since the first day I came in to the Cardinals' facility. I mean, what happened, and there's no such thing as I'm supposed to be anywhere, because you're supposed to be where you're at."