Christian Barmore will get to play for his favorite team in the NFL.
Though he hails from Philadelphia, Barmore said he grew up a New England Patriots fan. The Patriots clearly are fond of him, too, trading up Friday night to select the Alabama defensive tackle in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Why did Barmore gravitate toward the Patriots rather than his hometown Eagles? Simple: they won.
“My favorite college team was Alabama, so I love dominance,” Barmore explained during this introductory conference call. “It’s like the same program, just in the NFL. And they’re winners. I love winners.”
The Patriots hope Barmore — who was 3 years old when the franchise won its first Super Bowl — can help them return to their winning ways. They traded their second-round pick and two fourth-rounders to the Cincinnati Bengals to move up eight spots and nab the 310-pounder at No. 38 overall.
After lacking quality depth along the D-line during their disappointing 2020 campaign, the Patriots have placed an emphasis on improving that unit this offseason, also adding veterans Davon Godchaux, Henry Anderson and Montravius Adams in free agency.
Barmore, the top-ranked prospect in a weak defensive tackle class, was projected as a potential first-round pick. He fell to the sixth pick of Round 2 before the Patriots vaulted up to take him.
“It was a dream come true, a blessing from God,” Barmore said. “When Coach (Bill) Belichick and Robert Kraft (called), it really was a blessing. They were my favorite team growing up. It’s a real blessing.”
The Patriots drafted one of Barmore’s former Alabama teammates, quarterback Mac Jones, with their first-round pick Thursday night. The two won plenty together in college: The Crimson Tide went 13-0 last season en route to a national title.
Both players dominated in the College Football Playoff national championship, with Jones throwing five touchdown passes and Barmore earning Defensive MVP honors in a 52-24 rout of Ohio State.