New England Patriots, Bill Belichick strike gold with Christian Barmore

New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots second-round draft choice Christian Barmore plays a role on the defense that is often unheralded but this attribute a critical to the defense’s success.

As a frequent critic of the Patriots’ past draft futility and lately of blatant coaching errors, it’s important to point out when they get it right, as in spot-on, as well.

With the trading up in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft to secure Alabama defensive lineman Barmore, the Patriots scored big time. Kudos to the Pats.

In fact, not only did they do well, but they knocked the proverbial draft ball over the Green Monster at Fenway Park and onto the MassPike with Barmore (and others). Let’s take a look.

New England Patriots Christian Barmore heading for elite company

Now, at the moment, Barmore’s statistical line is rather uninspiring. He’s played in all 10 games of his rookie season.

Actually, that is something of note. Most don’t play many (if any) at all.

Yet, his importance to the defense is far more than shows up on the stat sheets. He has 25 tackles, five quarterback hits, and a half a sack. You might think, OK, but not terrific. Think again.

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First, Barmore has played in 10 games and started two. Now, for a Patriots rookie defensive lineman (or any rookie) to log minutes in every game and start a couple, is a statement of itself.

Richard Seymour played in 13 and started 10 in 2001. Vince Wilfork played in 16 games in 2004 and started six.

These two stalwarts are or will be Patriots’ Hall of Famers but both should also be Pro Football Hall of Famers, as well. We’ll see if they make it. If there were a vote here, they sure would get it.

Ty Warren, another defensive tackle and a first-round pick in 2004, was a good but not great player. He played in 16 games and started four his rookie year.

Those rookies were all exceptions to the rule under Bill Belichick, unless they are such exceptional anomalies they are too good to bench.

Interestingly, they are all defensive tackles and so, of course, is Christian Barmore who was a second-round pick with a first-round pedigree, for certain, as was the buzz at draft time.

New England Patriots Christian Barmore’s special talent

Barmore’s special talent again doesn’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet. His forte is dominating offensive linemen and collapsing the pocket to a point where there is literally no pocket.

In short, he is a one-man wrecking crew on the defensive line and his penetrating bull-rushes wreak havoc on opposing offenses. And this power is not usual. His level is atypical, special to say the least.

He’s a tower of power. He possesses raw, sheer, strength, and unquestioned determination in a big body, and like his idol, the great Reggie White (an eight-time first-team All-Pro and 13 -time Pro Bowler) he’s a football force of nature.

One need look no further than the Week 10 demolition of the Cleveland Browns. Barmore’s stats were pedestrian with four tackles which actually are not too shabby for an interior lineman.

Yet, his influence was far greater. One play illustrates this uber-attribute very succinctly. It was a likely statistically unaccredited play that could be termed as a game-changer.

The accolades went elsewhere, in this case to an interceptor, safety Kyle Dugger, who made a terrific read and catch, but the catalyst was Barmore.

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On that specific play, Barmore pushed the Browns center almost into Baker Mayfield’s helmet forcing an untimely throw right into Dugger’s hands. That crushing power was critical.

Collapsing a pocket, disrupting timing, overpowering a center and/or guard, disrupting a running lane are not often noted in statistical highlights but they do indeed change the outcomes of games.

Christian Barmore has those attributes in abundance and New England Patriots fans should be happy that the draft guys traded up to get him. It was a very positive move. Very positive, indeed.