The New England Patriots‘ front seven could be dominant in 2021, and the arrival of rookie Christian Barmore could say a lot about the defense’s strength.
Patriots defensive line coach Demarcus Covington gave this early impression of Barmore during an early media session:
When he walks through the door, you’re going to know who he is. Just the way how big he is, how long he is, how tall he is. Now, for us, as we get him into our program, it’s all about teaching him the way we do our fundamentals and technique, and the way how we do things around here. You still get a young kid that doesn’t have much experience playing football, and, so, the sky’s the limit for him. He’s going to do well for us.
It is great to hear positive things coming from Patriots camp about the player the team traded up eight spots in the second round to draft.
Why did the Patriots hold Barmore in such high regard? Because he’s more than just a run-stuffing interior defensive lineman.
Barmore Has Positional Versatility
Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network gave Barmore a glowing scouting report before the draft, and it appears as though the Patriots coaches see a lot of this come to fruition in the early workouts.
While Barmore’s flashes of explosiveness are undoubtedly inspiring for his size, his most consistent trait is his power. Barmore packs a ton of power into his imposing frame, and he uses this in conjunction with his length to establish a strong anchor against offensive linemen. Barmore also uses this power with heavy hands as a pass rusher. When he times and places his hand punches well, he can win one-on-one reps with ease. Additionally, Barmore has the recovery athleticism to shed blocks and make tackles in run defense. Barmore’s size and lower-body explosion also give him exciting versatility. He has the length and play strength to line up all across the line, and if he can hone more of his athletic traits at the next level and piece together uncoordinated parts of his game, he can be an impact starter.
I’d expect to see Barmore moving from tackle to defensive end, depending on the situation. If he proves to be a force teams have to gameplan against, ala the Chicago Bears’ Akiem Hicks, or to an even greater level, the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald, the Patriots will have found a true gem.
Barmore’s Presence Could Change the Entire Defense
If Barmore can reach his potential, his impact on the defensive line is to make all of his teammate’s jobs easier. As an interior pass rusher, he could make it easier for edge defenders to get to the quarterback or take away outside runs. If offenses have to commit multiple O-linemen to slow down Barmore’s backfield penetration, it creates a positive trickle-down effect for New England.
It’s early, but this is undoubtedly what Bill Belichick and Co. envisioned when they decided to move up to get Barmore.
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