The New England Patriots started the NFL draft by taking Mac Jones 15th overall. On the second day, the team wasted no time to pick up an Alabama teammate of his in Christian Barmore. Using two of their three fourth-round selections, the Patriots moved up eight spots from 46 to 38 to secure the best defensive tackle in the draft.
Run defense was a huge priority for the Patriots this offseason, with them signing Davon Godchaux and Henry Anderson from AFC East rivals while re-upping on Lawrence Guy and Deatrich Wise Jr. on four-year deals. With the addition of Barmore, the team now has five playable interior linemen under contract for the next two seasons.
Barmore was recruited by Bill Belichick protege Nick Saban, but redshirted his freshman year in 2018. The following season he was inserted into the starting lineup, recording 26 tackles, 6 for loss, and a pair of sacks. That earned him a spot on the All-SEC Freshman team and set the stage for him to possibly become a top prospect in the 2021 draft with a good sophomore season.
As a redshirt-sophomore, Barmore did what he needed to join the conversation for a potential first-rounder. He picked up 37 tackles, 9.5 for loss, 8 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and knocked down 3 passes. In Alabama’s 52-24 victory in the National Championship, Barmore was the team’s defensive MVP with 5 tackles, 2 for loss, and a sack.
The Patriots were well-represented at Alabama’s Pro Day, with Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels attending. While the team’s primary focus was Mac Jones, Belichick likely was able to work out Barmore to get an in-person evaluation with the first-round-caliber prospect. While Barmore ultimately fell out of the first round, he didn’t have to wait long before the Patriots came calling in the second.
With the 38th pick, he became the 12th player that Belichick has drafted out of Alabama since Nick Saban took over as the Crimson Tide’s head coach in 2007.
How does Christian Barmore fit the Patriots defense?
Barmore will be joining a defensive tackle rotation featuring a lot of veterans that he can learn from. Coming from Alabama to New England, he already has a good idea of the expectations and locker room environment he will be entering in the pros. His versatility will be a huge bonus either as a two-gapping 5-technique in a 3-4 front or by kicking inside to a 3-technique in sub packages. His ceiling as a player is Richard Seymour, a Patriots and possible Pro Football Hall of Famer.
His combination of size, length, strength, and athleticism will make Barmore one of the top interior defensive linemen in the NFL if he can reach this ceiling.
In 2021, Barmore will be in the mix at the top of the defensive tackle rotation. Even though he will be starting fourth in the rotation entering camp, he could easily get into the top three further down the line. The Patriots will carry at least five interior lineman, if you count Wise Jr. in that department, on the 2021 roster; next year, he could be near the top of the depth chart if not the No. 1 guy with plenty of out-clauses in the contracts of the guys in front of him.
If the Patriots can unlock more consistency from Barmore, we could be talking about him as one of the biggest steals in the draft. From a draft value standpoint, the Patriots got a first-round talent in the second round, which in itself is a great pick.
How would you grade the Patriots’ decision to draft Christian Barmore at No. 38?
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