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Lions’ Brian Branch: Commanders said they’d draft me, I guess you can’t take their word

Lions defensive back Brian Branch has been one of the best rookies in the NFL this season, and it looks like Detroit got a steal with the 45th pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Branch says he’s as surprised as anyone that he was still there for the Lions to take him at 45.

That’s because Branch said the Commanders assured him that he wouldn’t get past their first-round pick, No. 16 overall.

“The team I for sure thought that was going to get me was the Commanders at No. 16,” Branch said in an NFL Network social media discussion. “I felt like, you know, they told me that if I’m still available at 16, they were going to get me. But I guess you can never take their word, somebody’s word. You got to let it play out. But everything happens for a reason. So I’m glad I’m with Detroit.”

The Commanders took cornerback Emmanuel Forbes with the 16th overall pick. Forbes, who is currently dealing with an elbow injury, has had a less impressive rookie year than Branch. The Lions got the player the Commanders may now wish they had taken.