When Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore was on the board early in the second round of the NFL Draft, the Patriots wasted no time and traded up to No. 38 overall to get him.
Many had him as the best defensive lineman in the entire draft, but he likely fell to the second round because of concerns with him taking hard coaching as well as structure.
“Several teams expressed significant concerns about what they say is his resistance to coaching and structure at Alabama," Bob McGinn wrote in The Athletic prior to the draft.
Other evaluators expressed maturity concerns.
With that being said, Alabama head coach Nick Saban disagreed with all those assessments in an interview with Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com before the draft.
"We never had any issues here with him at all when it came to structure, whether it was football or academics,’' Saban said. “He always worked hard in the offseason program and he did whatever everybody told him to do. We were were very structured in regards to academics and he worked very hard at that.’'
He added: “I never had a problem with him. He’s a good kid."
It's obviously worth pointing out Bill Belichick's connection with Saban, so the two likely spoke extensively on Barmore and the Patriots felt good enough with what they heard to trade up and make the selection.
In 2020, Barmore finished with 37 tackles, 9.5 for loss, and eight sacks.