Buccaneers Land a Safety — BN NFL Mock Draft

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-round Mock Draft!

Bleacher Nation NFL 2023 Mock Draft: Buccaneers Land a Safety


The Bleacher Nation NFL 2023 Mock Draft will be a running mock draft that spans between now and round one of the NFL Draft. Each of the 31 picks (Miami forfeited their first-round pick due to tampering) will get a dedicated post. Here’s how it’ll work:

  • Every pick in the Mock Draft gets its own post. We will do one or two picks per day.
  • We will link back to previous posts with a running draft recap.
  • This feature will not include trades and will cover the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Buccaneers are on the clock in the Bleacher Nation NFL Mock Draft …

The Pick Is In

S Brian Branch — Alabama

The Fit

The Buccaneers could go a variety of ways here, including running back. But taking Bijan Robinson here wouldn’t be the best move for the Buccaneers, who aren’t close to being back to competitors. Running backs have shelf lives shorter than any other position in football, and taking Robinson and starting his clock doesn’t seem like the move for Tampa Bay here.

So, we will go defense and add the best safety in the draft as the Buccaneers take Alabama’s Brian Branch at No. 19.

Scouting Report

Brian Branch was a three-year contributor and two-year starter for the Crimson Tide, tallying 172 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, four picks, and 23 pass deflections in his career. Branch earned AP second-team All-American honors after collecting 90 tackles, 14 TFLs, three sacks, seven passes defensed, and two picks. 

Branch is a do-it-all defender with instincts in coverage and speed as a blitzer. The Ringer compared Branch to Texans safety Jalen Pitre, and that’s a great comp. It’s also great news for the team that drafted him because he’s got the profile to be a day-one starter.

While Branch is undersized by NFL standards, he makes up for it in intensity. Branch is sticky in man coverage and looks calm when playing the ball. Branch was also a regular in Alabama’s kick and punt coverages. He can do a bunch of things very well.

Final Thoughts: Branch is a versatile defender who can wear multiple hats and do it well. He’s intense and has a nose for the ball in whatever role he is in. He’ll be an excellent building block for the Buccaneers or any defense that ends up with him in this draft.

Bleacher Nation’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft

  1. Carolina Panthers (via CHI) — QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
  2. Houston Texans — QB Bryce Young, Alabama
  3. Arizona Cardinals — EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama
  4. Indianapolis Colts — QB Anthony Richardson, Florida
  5. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN) — DT Jalen Carter, Georgia
  6. Detroit Lions (via LAR) — EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech
  7. Las Vegas Raiders — QB Will Levis, Kentucky
  8. Atlanta Falcons — EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson
  9. Chicago Bears (via CAR) — CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
  10. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO) — DT Calijah Kancey, Pitt
  11. Tennessee Titans — T Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State
  12. Houston Texans (via CLE) — WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
  13. New York Jets — T Broderick Jones, Georgia
  14. New England Patriots — CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
  15. Green Bay Packers — TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah
  16. Washington Commanders — CB Deonte Banks, Maryland
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers — CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State
  18. Detroit Lions — CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — S Brian Branch, Alabama
  20. Seattle Seahawks
  21. Los Angeles Chargers
  22. Baltimore Ravens
  23. Minnesota Vikings
  24. Jacksonville Jaguars
  25. New York Giants
  26. Dallas Cowboys
  27. Buffalo Bills
  28. Cincinnati Bengals
  29. New Orleans Saints (via SF)
  30. Philadelphia Eagles
  31. Kansas City Chiefs

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.