Las Vegas Raiders 2023 NFL Mock Draft: David Ziegler executes massive Day 1 trade

Indianapolis Colts v Las Vegas Raiders
Indianapolis Colts v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Raiders prospect Brian Branch
Raiders prospect Brian Branch / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Raiders 2023 NFL Mock Draft: Ziegler executes massive Day 1 trade

38 Brian Branch S | Alabama 

With the 38th overall pick the Raiders got lucky as the top ranked safety in this draft class is available in the early second round in Brian Branch out of Alabama. Branch's draft stock was hurt a bit by a less than ideal combine performance but his experience and talent make him a bargain at this point in the draft.

This would be the second time in 3 years that the Raiders used a second round pick on a safety as they drafted Trevon Moehrig in 2021. Moehrig has been up and down and safety is still a position of need for the Raiders. Branch profiles more as a strong safety than a free safety so they could become a defensive back field pairing for years to come.

The former Alabama star is a versatile player who lined up at corner and safety for the Crimson Tide and has the smarts and experience to play right away. He is a tackling machine with great ball skills and we could easily see a team draft him in the first round. The Raiders signed Marcus Epps on a short-term deal so Branch could come in, learn from apps, and eventually become the starter at the position.