1. Christian Barmore
Barmore, the 38th overall pick in 2021, made a major leap in his third NFL season. After relatively underachieving in his first two years in New England and battling through an injury-riddled 2022 , he set several career highs and led the Patriots in multiple categories in 2023. Barmore entrenched his name among the league's elite defensive tackles, racking up the seventh-highest sack total at his position.
The former Alabama standout led New England's defense with his 8.5 sacks and 16 quarterback hits, playing a crucial role in alleviating the pass rush void left by the season-ending injury to Pro Bowler Matthew Judon in Week 4. Barmore also made his presence felt in the running game, finishing second on the team in tackles for loss, with 14. His production in 2023 was much more emblematic of the dominant interior force that Patriots fans hoped for when he was drafted.
Barmore won't turn 25 until July. If he can continue to build upon his 2023 campaign and exhibit similar year-over-year growth, he should be an integral piece of the Patriots' defense for years to come. He is slated to become a free agent after the 2024 season, so it would seem prudent on New England's part to look to lock him up for the foreseeable future.
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