With the 38th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots traded up to select Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore.
The Crimson Tide returned to the top of the college football world in 2020 -- and Barmore was a big reason why.
The Philadelphia native had no trouble mixing it up against top competition in the SEC throughout his college career, culminating in a first-team all-conference nod and a standout performance in the national title game that earned him defensive MVP honors last season.
While most outlets seem to project Barmore as an interior lineman, many scout types have noted that his explosiveness and ability to disrupt a pocket will play in a variety of schemes.
Here's what you need to know about one of the top defensive players in the SEC in 2020:
2020 stats: 11 games, 37 tackles (22 solo), 9.5 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 3 passes knocked down
Accolades: 2020 First-Team All-ACC; 2020 AP Third-Team All-American; 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game Defensive MVP; 2019 All-SEC Freshman Team
- Played his best on the biggest stage
- Improved each year, including big step forward last season
- Track record of success against top competition
- Relatively durable: played in 22 out of 26 possible games in two seasons after redshirting as a freshman in 2018
- Alabama known for producing quality interior linemen
- Slightly undersized relative to massive NFL offensive linemen
- Plays too fast sometimes and can run himself out of a play
- Dominant 2020 season was somewhat unexpected -- can he repeat it?
Expert scout analysis:
- "Tends to be in the lead and take control of a majority of reps" ... has the potential to be "an impactful rookie starter" -- Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
- "Should be a top-tier tackle. Until then, he’s equal parts production and potential." -- Doug Farrar, USA Today Sports
- "There’s no reason that Barmore can’t emerge as a three-down defender who has an impact against the run and the pass. It just might take time to unlock it." -- Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports
Player comparison: Corey Liuget, according to Farrar
Liuget carved out a nice career as a versatile interior lineman after the Chargers drafted him in the middle of the first round in 2011.