We're about to see the race start that is the NFL draft. The three-day event officially kicks off on Thursday night with the first round, and fans could not be more anxious about what the Saints will do with their 28th overall pick. One potential prospect to keep an eye on throughout the draft process is Alabama's Christian Barmore.
Barmore was a disruptive presence who wreaked havoc on the interior for the Crimson Tide. He uses his power to win some battles, and it is a big reason why he was known more for being a pass-rushing defensive tackle. Those twists and bull rushes are a big key to his production. He can get stopped at the point of attack by opposing offensive linemen. not getting much push on first contact (see Ole Miss tape). The big knocks on him is the playing time, starting just six times over two seasons. He declared for the draft as an underclassmen following a stellar game in the National Championship, where he was named the defensive MVP.
The Athletic's Bob McGinn previewed the defensive line class just a few days ago, and had some concerning notes from several scouts on Barmore's outlook for the next level.
“Somebody will probably reach on him because there aren’t any of these guys. I think you’re going to take some lumps with him. He doesn’t have a ton of experience. He’s not a finished product. Best thing he does is rush inside.”
Pro Day Measurables and Results
- Height: 6-4"
- Weight: 310 pounds
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.93 Seconds
- 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.75 Seconds
- 3-Cone: 7.81 Seconds
The Case for the Saints
Defensive tackle, specifically a run-stopping one, is a very underrated need for New Orleans. They lost Malcom Brown and Sheldon Rankins this offseason, and figure to use more of Shy Tuttle and Malcolm Roach to pair alongside David Onyemata. However, this class of interior linemen is not particularly strong, and Barmore is arguably the top prospect. However, the notes surrounding him are a bit concerning, especially with reports of him having a resistance to coaching. It could also be a big reason why he may not see his name called until Day 2.
You can see the talent jump out on the tape for Barmore, but he is far from a refined gem of a prospect. He will need a strong coach to help develop him more and unlock his full potential. Ryan Nielsen could be one such coach to do it, but in the same breath, the team's ability to find undrafted rookies for consecutive seasons to fit as rotational guys also says something about their scouting process and not having an immediate need to address this spot early in a very weak defensive lineman class.