Detroit Lions trade up to select Alabama safety Brian Branch with No. 45 pick in NFL draft

Lions drafted Iowa TE Sam LaPorta with No. 34 pick

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - SEPTEMBER 17: Brian Branch #14 of the Alabama Crimson Tide returns this punt for a touchdown against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks during the fourth quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 17, 2022 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) (Kevin C. Cox, 2022 Getty Images)

DETROIT – The Detroit Lions moved up three spots from pick No. 48 to 45 thanks to the division rival Green Bay Packers to select Alabama Crimson Time safety Brian Branch.

Moving up three spots costs Detroit a fifth-round pick at No. 159 overall.

Branch had 90 total tackles with 58 solo tackles, 32 assisted tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions during his final season as a collegiate athlete.

He played the star position at Alabama but he can also play nickel or free safety for the Lions as he has above average ball hawking skills.

“It means a lot to be a Detroit Lion,” said Branch. I’m going show everyone what they missed out on.”

The Lions have another selection in the second round at pick No. 55.

Coming into the draft, the Lions didn’t have many glaring weaknesses, though linebacker certainly warranted an upgrade.

With the selection of Branch and Laporta, the Lions will look to address other needs at positions like cornerback, defensive line, wide receiver, and guard.

General manager Brad Holmes made waves across the league in Thursday’s first round when he traded the No. 6 overall pick to the Arizona Cardinals. In exchange, the Lions received the No. 12 pick, the No. 34 pick, and a fifth-round pick. They also gave Arizona their third-round pick, No. 81 overall, in the deal.

Detroit shocked everybody by drafting Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12, and then reached for the best linebacker in the draft, Jack Campbell, at No. 18.

About the Author:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.