4 options for the Buffalo Bills first round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft

Bijan Robinson (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Bijan Robinson (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Buffalo Bills
Brian Branch (Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports) /

Brian Branch

One of the first free agents that joined the Buffalo Bills after Sean McDermott was named head coach was Jordan Poyer. He, along with Micah Hyde, have combined to form one of the best safety duos in the league over the past six years. Unfortunately, this year Hyde suffered a neck injury that forced him to miss a majority of the season, and Poyer is now set to be a free agent.

It remains to be seen if Poyer will return but if he doesn’t, this becomes a major need for the defense and Brian Branch would be a great player to draft in the first round to replace Poyer. He has essentially been one of the starting safeties for the University of Alabama for the past three seasons and has 172 career total tackles, 19.5 tackles for a loss, and four sacks.

Branch is a versatile safety and is similar to Poyer in that he can drop back into coverage but he is a little stronger closer to the line of scrimmage and is an excellent tackler. The former Crimson Tide safety would certainly have big shoes to fill but he is talented enough to step in as a starter right away.