Scouting Report: Is Christian Barmore Worth the Hype?

After a strong performance in the college football national championship, Christian Barmore has garnered a lot of interest among Patriots fans -- but is he worth the hype?
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Measurables:

Height: 6-foot-5 (1.96m)

Weight: 310lbs (140.6kg)

Class: Redshirt Sophomore

Strengths:

- Surprising lateral quickness when pass rushing

- Effective on stunts

- Menacing presence as a pass rusher when one-on-one

- Vertical mindset to get to the quarterback: doesn't waste time turning horizontal pass rush movement into vertical penetration

- Aggressive and active hands in pass rush, syncs well with shoulder and hip movement to clear offensive linemen's' hips

- Capable of getting hands inside when he wants to, will occasionally use hand placement to throw offensive linemen off balance

- Regularly occupies double teams and eats space

- Variety of pass rush moves, including chops, swims, and rips

- Saved his best production for Alabama's biggest games, including the National Championship

Weaknesses:

- Really light anchor against the run game: easily moved back 2-3 yards against the run

- Shows limited explosion in both the pass and run games

- Shows surprisingly little power for such a big athlete

- High pad level puts him at an immediate disadvantage in power situations

- Lacks a true bullrush

- Struggled "resetting the line of scrimmage" in both the pass and run games

- Limited gap discipline

- Pass rushes without a true plan

- Relies too much on lateral moves to beat the passer, which could be a problem against quicker interior offensive linemen in the NFL

- No counters to double teams (cannot split, move laterally, or power through), which is a problem considering how often he was double-teamed

Summary and Archetype:

Barmore's college tape shines the most against the pass. Prior to the 2020 season, he was mainly involved in packages for obvious passing situations. While he showed off a variety of pass rush moves such as rips, chops, and swims, these moves rely primarily on beating his offensive lineman laterally. While his vertical instincts after the lateral rush are great, he is not able to beat his man vertically. 

Conversely, Barmore's tape against the run is difficult to watch. He is regularly moved back 2-3 yards and often loses sight of his gap. While he is occasionally able to make plays against zone runs where he is single-teamed, this is once again due to his lateral rush ability. Seldom does Barmore show any kind of pure vertical push or penetration.

In fact, Barmore's tape as a whole shows an incredible lack of explosion and power. One major reason for this anomaly is his pad level is too high when he plays. Since this is a technique-based issue, this bodes relatively well for his draft stock, as this can be fixed with relative ease. 

However, the NFL Combine will likely play a major role in Barmore's draft stock; if Barmore can test well in the more explosive drills (broad jump and vertical jump), it may indicate that he has the tools to develop a power aspect to his game.

Fit with the Patriots:

2021 is quickly cementing itself as the "year of the rotund Alabama prospect" for New England Patriots fans. Alabama defensive lineman Christian Barmore has emerged in discussions as a potential first-round pick for the Patriots, alongside his college quarterback, Mac Jones.

The truth is that Barmore is... good... and that's it. He's certainly not the elite defensive lineman prospect that New England needs, but he seems to have enough tools to become a starter-quality player in the league. While he may not be worth a round one pick, he can certainly be a value pick on Day 2 of the draft.

It's worth noting that Barmore showed great production on stunts. The Patriots have used stunts as a regular strategy to manufacture front four pressure, especially given their recent lack of talent in the defensive trenches. Barmore's success with the strategy could lead to him being higher up on New England's big board come draft time.

While Barmore is currently a liability against the run, his ability to draw double teams and eat space in the middle of the line may allow pass rushers Chase Winovich, Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, and John Simon to win more favorable one-on-one matchups .