My Draft Sleeper: Ben Branson

23 Apr


Branson was made for his position.

If you haven’t heard of him, check out some video on YouTube of Ben Branson, coming out of Missouri State.  This cat is unbelievable.  Look at him as a seventh-round steal, because he is going fast in free agency if everyone lets him get that far.  First off, he has all the intangibles.  Leadership, dedication, and according to his position coach Jarvis Londale, he is a beast in the weight room.  High motor is an understatement.

On the field, he looks a little raw.  But he measures out at 6’6”, 235, seemingly zero body fat, and he runs a 4.4-40.  His open field speed is incredible, and his hand skills and footwork easily make up for a lack of hip fluidity (as Wang has pointed out) that is disappointing at times – although he does display an impressive core rotation.  It is striking the way he gets off the snap with a deceivingly explosive suddenness.  A little coaching, and this kid could be Colston-esque when it comes to pure late-round value.

Now, many scouts are getting scared off by his past, and that’s probably valid.  There’s a reason this machine is going in the seventh round at best.  He got in a couple scrapes with the law back in his hometown in Wisconsin, running with a shady crowd during his high school days.  His grades suffered, and that’s how he ended up playing Juco ball down the road from Iowa State.

A little film study, however, proves that this guy is a real talent, has a gift, and by all accounts, he has really turned it around since landing in Springfield.  He’s low risk, high ceiling, and there’s little downside.  He hasn’t failed a drug test or been involved with the law since he moved to Missouri.  Perhaps that drive to overcome adversity is what has made him so strong at the point of attack.

I like him as a seventh-rounder coming right here to New Orleans.  Loomis won’t miss out on a gifted player like Branson.  Watch out, NFL!  In a few years, I look forward to posting this link all over the internet so everyone can see what a genius I am.  If he’s a failure, well, you won’t remember this, will you? (Besides, I can delete the entire thread post if need be.)

Either way, remember the name Ben Branson.  I suspect you’ll be hearing it plenty in the coming years, no matter where he ends up.

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