Branch says stress fractures -- no problem ...
In an ESPNews interview Saturday afternoon, Michigan defensive tackle Alan Branch acknowledged that he has had stress fractures in both legs, but he said he has played with them for years, and he strongly denied that they were serious injuries that should cause him to drop on draft boards.
"You can barely see a speck on the X-ray," he said. "I don't know why it's coming up now because I have never missed one practice, let alone one game."
Branch said he disagreed with the assessments of some NFL scouts who thought he showed up to Michigan's pro day out of shape. "I wasn't really out of shape at all," he said. "I was sick for about two weeks before the pro day happened."
Branch said the NFL player he thinks he's most similar to is Richard Seymour, and that while some scouts think the only position he can play in the NFL is nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, he thinks he can play anywhere on the defensive line. I came away impressed with Branch's demeanor in the interview, and I still think he's worth a Top 10 pick. I especially liked his answer to a question about the NFL's recent crackdowns on players who get into off-field trouble:
"For fun I watch cartoons. What's a guy who watches cartoons gonna do to get in trouble?"