2012 NFL Mock Draft: Detroit Lions Select DE Andre Branch With 23rd Pick Of 1st Round

In Rob Rang's latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft for CBS Sports, he projects the Detroit Lions selecting former Clemson defensive end Andre Branch with the 23rd overall pick. Via Rang:

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).

For more on the Detroit Lions, check out Pride of Detroit. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub, or check out SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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