At first glance, it would appear that the Lions would invest their 2012 first-round pick in virtually any other position other than defensive line considering the talent already assembled there. Should the top cornerbacks be off the board, however, sources suggest the Lions could pull one of the real stunners of the draft and take advantage of a speed rusher like Branch. The former Clemson star would provide some safety for a team built around its pass rush should Cliff Avril refuse to sign his Franchise tender and the 34-year old Kyle Vanden Bosch begin to show his age.
Branch is listed as the fourth-best defensive end prospect by CBS Sports and is projected as a potential late first round or early second round pick. In his senior season at Clemson, Branch was named first-team All-ACC, leading Clemson in sacks (10.5) and tackles for loss (17).