The Future: 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Christian Barmore
Christian Barmore played in 11 of 13 games for Alabama during the 2020-2021 season where he recorded 37 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and 8.0 sacks. He played a major role in their national title run and ended up winning defensive MVP in that national title game. At 6'5, 310lbs he has really good size to play on the interior defensive line and his athleticism will catch people off guard. He has outstanding natural power and has shown he can move offensive linemen back with ease. He is a first-round talent and I could see him going inside the top 20 picks. Below I will discuss his upfield burst, his pass rush, how he plays against the run, how he uses his hands, and how well he can pursue the ball.
Upfield Burst- He has good burst for someone his size. I would argue he is more of a power-based player than a bendy, burst player but he does surprise people with his ability to burst upfield and bend around the edge. He is very light-footed and can dominate slower offensive lineman, especially on the inside against guards and centers. With his ability to get off the line quickly he can penetrate the backfield consistently against one on one blocks.
Pass Rush- As a pass rusher he is very versatile. He can line up all over the defensive front and can rush as a nose tackle or as an edge rusher. His bull rush is elite as he can push lineman back with ease, sometimes resulting in putting the lineman flat on their backs. His ability to rush up the middle affects quarterbacks greatly as they have to move off of their spot. He has one effective speed move in a swim where he can consistently win against one on one matchup's as well as splitting double teams. He has good lateral quickness which helps him get across lineman's faces and with beating blockers with his swim move. He will need to add to his pass rush moves since he only has one speed move. He is the best interior pass rusher in this draft class and he has the production to back it up.
Vs Run- When he lines up in the "A" gap or as a nose tackle he has the base strength to take on double teams and not get pushed back too much. His lower body strength allows him to rarely get pushed back in one on one matchup's but he needs to do a better job of keeping his pad level lower to increase his ability to not only hold his ground but push blockers back. He does a good job of using his length to keep blockers off of him but also to make reach tackles while still engaged with offensive linemen. His lateral movement to work down the line of scrimmage is very good, especially on outside runs where he has shown the ability to be able to make plays on runs going away from him. In one on one matchup's against the run he can consistently be dominant, penetrating on any given play.
Use of Hands- He has very powerful and precise hands. He hits his marks and does a good job of disengaging from linemen when the ballcarrier comes into his area but also of keeping them from getting inside of his pads. His use of his swim move can become repetitive but with his ability to consistently win with it at the collegiate level he has not needed to change it up. He has the power and strength to lock his arms, keeping blockers off of him, which allows him to see into the backfield and diagnose and make plays on the ball whether it be in the pass or run games. He will need to add additional hand counters, especially in the pass game if he wants to continue to develop at the next level.
Pursuit- This is the only concern with his game. His motor and pursuit are solid but he leaves you wanting more. He doesn't necessarily take plays off but when plays are run away from him he can be inconsistent with his effort to pursue the play from behind. In the pass game, his motor is high as he consistently does whatever he can to get to the quarterback, even when the quarterback can escape the pocket.
Barmore can become an instant threat on the interior of any defensive line in the NFL. He possesses three-down capabilities as both a run defender and pass rusher. He does need to develop his game to include a more diverse set of moves, especially as a speed rusher where he does have the athletic ability to win as a speed rusher along the interior line.