New England Patriots: Christian Barmore reminds of a former star lineman

Christian Barmore #58 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Christian Barmore #58 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots defensive tackle/end Christian Barmore is OK and back to practice after an injury scare at the team’s first full-pads practice. It was a scare indeed for this writer.

Barmore has been flagged as one of this writer’s top three players he is looking forward to see on the Patriots’ defense.

The rookie has also been called an “absolute beast”. That’s certainly a moniker one wants to hear about its favorite team’s players.

Barmore has the potential to provide what the Patriot’s defense has been missing for years. That would be a top down-lineman who can really pressure the quarterback and disrupt an opposing offense.

The last one who comes to mind is soon-to-be Patriots Hall of Famer, the great Richard Seymour. Seymour had a unique combination of tremendous size as well as great speed and anticipation. (Think of Akiem Hicks as a comparable, also.)

It could easily be said that Barmore has some of these same traits. Barmore is about 6’4″ tall and weighs (conservatively) 310 pounds. And there are other “Big Sey” comparisons that can be made.

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Like Seymour, Barmore can play both inside and outside, although Seymour played more as a defensive end and was a disruptive force primarily from the outside. Barmore plies his trade mostly, but not exclusively, from the inside.

The Alabama Crimson Tide product who played with Mac Jones on last season’s FBS Champions logged an astounding 8 sacks for the Tide. The Patriots have seldom had a defensive tackle penetrator with Barmore’s size, strength, and skills.

The fabulous Vince Wilfork was a nose tackle whose role was more to occupy blockers than disrupt, though he certainly could do so at times.

Barmore is more of a mauling penetrator and disruptive force who if employed correctly can mess up even a good offense’s day.

What New England Patriots fans should expect from Christian Barmore

Rookies seldom get big playing time from the New England Patriots coaching staff. Yet, Barmore may be one player the team’s fans may witness deviating from the norm. He may just be too good to not play.

Barmore really has skills that really no other Patriots defensive lineman possesses, with the possible exception of perhaps Henry Anderson.

Anderson had a banner season with the New York Jets in 2018 with seven sacks and he was a totally disruptive force when healthy. Yet, he hasn’t come close to that production since (or before for that matter).

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If Barmore can do what he did for the Crimson Tide and their coach, Nick Saban, then the Patriots will have a real find.

It’s instructive to again remind readers that Barmore was the defensive MVP of the aforementioned FBS Championship game. That means he was the best of the best against the best in college football’s biggest game.

If we were in the prediction business, the expectations would include the following.

First, Barmore will likely begin his NFL career as a situational interior and outside pass-rusher and disruptive force. Expect him to burst his way into opposing backfields and force their quarterbacks to improvise.

That’s his forte and with the supporting cast he will have in the reconstructed linebacking corps (and their still solid secondary), he’ll enhance the Patriots’ opportunity for big defensive plays.

Also, once he gains some playing time, he’ll be able to step up and start should an injury derail any of the starters and be a three-down defensive lineman.

There is no doubt whatsoever that Barmore has that potential. While such players are relatively rare in the NFL (especially on the New England Patriots), his size, speed, and strength attributes make this a distinct possibility for him.

In this writer’s opinion, allowing that he remains healthy, it may become difficult for Bill Belichick and his defensive staff to keep the rookie off the field.

A goal was set of three sacks for the big rookie. Frankly, that could be a bit of a disappointment depending, of course, on playing time and injuries. He’s capable of much more, maybe even in his rookie season.

So, fortunately, Barmore’s recent injury seems to have been slight. Good thing. Sports Illustrated quotes Head Coach Bill Belichick on the rookie,

"“Christian’s a very talented player,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told reporters via video conference Monday, August 2nd. “Just got a lot of physical skills. Size, strength, quickness, so forth. Obviously been in a good program. Been well-coached. Some of the things we’re doing are similar to what he’s done. There are some things that are a little bit different, but he’s made a lot of progress, but we’ll see how that goes when the pads come on and when the real bullets start flying.”"

That’s about as good as it gets from the six-time Super Bowl-winning coach. We’ll see how it all pans out.

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Yet, it seems clear, the New England Patriots may have really good pass-rushing interior lineman on their hands. And that is a very good thing to have.