Patriots Take Risk On Value Pick, Christian Barmore, In 2021 NFL Draft

Barmore has Pro Bowl talent that needs to be harnessed

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April 30, 2021

The New England Patriots wouldn’t trade up for a quarterback, but they moved up in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft for Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore.

Another former member of the Crimson Tide is joining New England.

Barmore is the top defensive tackle in the 2021 NFL Draft class. He was a projected first-round pick but slid down the draft board Thursday when no interior defensive linemen were drafted. PFF listed Barmore’s biggest weakness as “game-to-game consistency.”

The Patriots ended his slide at No. 38 overall after a trade with the Cincinnati Bengals (for the 46th, 122nd and 139th overall picks) and reunited him with New England’s 2021 first-round pick quarterback Mac Jones, also an Alabama product.

Barmore has the potential to be a three-down defensive lineman for the Patriots at 6-foot-5, 310 pounds. He immediately becomes New England’s top interior pass rusher. The big defensive tackle totaled eight sacks, four QB hits and 27 hurries in 2020 as a sophomore for Alabama, per PFF. His 18.9 pass-rush win rate ranked fourth among FBS defensive tackle last season. He also added 20 defensive stops and four tackles for loss or no gain. PFF graded Barmore as a top-tier pass rusher and above average as a run defender.

The rookie joins Lawrence Guy, Davon Godchaux, Deatrich Wise, Henry Anderson, Byron Cowart, Carl Davis, Montravius Adams, Bill Murray, Adeem Spence and Nick Thurman on New England’s defensive line depth chart.

He ran a 4.98-second 40-yard dash with a 1.76-second 10-yard split, 7.81-second 3-cone drill and 4.75-second short shuttle at Alabama’s pro day this spring.

Barmore likely will rotate with Guy, Godchaux, Wise and Anderson as a rookie. He also should take on Adam Butler’s old third-down pass-rushing spot in the Patriots’ sub-package defense.

The upside is there — if he can put it all together — for Barmore to be a Pro Bowl talent. The Patriots need to figure out how to harness his potential and make him put it all together. Barmore started just six games at Alabama, including five in 2020. He lined up at nose tackle, three-technique defensive tackle, five-technique defensive end and seven-technique defensive end throughout his college career. The Patriots like that type of positional versatility out of their defensive linemen.

Drafting Barmore might be considered a slight risk because of what caused his slide. But he’s worth the flier early in the second round as a serious potential value pick.

Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots Defensive Tackle Christian Barmore
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