Green Bay Packers Draft Matchup: DE/OLB Andre Branch vs. G Kevin Zeitler

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NFL Draft Prospect Profile Andre Branch, DE/OLB Clemson
Andre Branch, DE/OLB Clemson

This decision comes down to need for the Packers. Do they take Andre Branch and fill an immediate need on the defensive front? Or do they select Kevin Zeitler and fill a likely future need at center or guard?

Usually I don’t pay much attention to the NFL draft, especially all the pre-draft hoopla, but this year the draft has sucked me in. I’ve watched video, studied scouting reports, and tried to follow the opinions of analysts I respect.

One of my favorite players to watch and learn more about has been Zeitler. He’s quick out of the gate when he pulls and a wrecking ball when he heads upfield looking for defenders to take out and pave the way for Wisconsin’s running backs.

Branch’s pass-rushing game is built mostly around speed, but what makes him even more attractive to the Packers is his versatility. He lined up in both a two- and three-point stance at Clemson and could move around the Packers defense if needed. He’s definitely a Dom Capers type of player.

If both players are available when the Packers pick late in the first round, I’d go with Branch, but it’d be a tough call. Zeitler looks like he has the skills to play right away and be an effective offensive lineman for a long time. Branch looks a little more raw.

I went with Branch because his ceiling is a little higher and the Packers have an immediate need up front. It’s always nice when you get a player you’re fairly confident will be solid for at least the next five years (Zeitler). But if you have a chance to hit a home run with a first-round pick, you swing for the fences. Branch’s ceiling is higher, his position is more important, and he fills an immediate need.

In other words, Branch has more potential to be a home run.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • ThomasMagnumPI

    It would be great to be able to scoop one of these guys up in the early 2nd round. Hopefully, that doesn’t mean that GB missed out on their target at pick 28–I’m recanting my “trade out of the 1st round” suggestion, if their guy is there.

    He’d just better be a defensive front 5 guy…

  • Ron LC

    I absolutely love Zeitler. As a Badger fan there would be nothing more satisfying than having a UW guy in the line.

    HOWEVER, GB needs to fix that rightside of the D. Move up and ensure you get a difference maker. What ever it may cost in subsequent rounds it is well worth it to get a difference maker.

    • Pat Mc

      I absolutely agree with RON LC.

      Fix the Rightside of the D. Get ROLB, DE/NT to give RAJI/Pick some rest during season. Draft BAP for ROLB and DE/NT. (1,2) and trade extra picks to get another 2 for zeitler.

      I would like that.