In 16 regular season games last season (15 starts), Branch totaled 35 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 pass deflections. Branch graded out as the No. 36 defensive tackle according to the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus (subscription required), putting him ahead of notables such as Haloti Ngata, Ricky Jean-Francois, and Chris Canty.
Given the team’s rash of injuries in the front seven, they could not afford to be without the defensive tackle for any period of time.
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