Alabama Football: Don’t sleep on Christian Barmore

Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama football’s Christian Barmore could turn some heads

The 2021 NFL Draft is approaching, and Alabama football players are making their final cases to be drafted early. One name has flown under the radar, but he might be one of the first Tide players drafted. His name is Christian Barmore.

Barmore led the team in sacks despite developing late in 2020. With his progression from his second to third year with the team, the trajectory shows he has room to grow. If he continues to improve, he could be one of the best defensive players in this draft class.

While he is clearly a solid prospect, he could easily be drafted earlier than most think. The NFL released players who would attend the draft in person, and Barmore was in the first wave of invites. This is usually saved for players the NFL believes will be drafted early, so it shows that insiders think he will be drafted sooner rather than later.

So, what is sparking this rise? For starters, Christian Barmore can play on all downs. This is a rare trait for defensive tackles. They usually come in during run situations and simply muddy the line of scrimmage. Barmore can do this, but he can also rush the passer. With his first step and use of hands, he brings interior pressure that few can at his age. He’s no Aaron Donald, but he brings more versatility than your average defensive tackle.

This class is also noticeably weak this year at defensive tackle. While teams can land receivers and offensive linemen in the second round and still expect them to start, Barmore is the only interior pass rusher who deserves first-round consideration. When supply doesn’t meet demand, players tend to shoot up draft boards.

So, how high can Christian Barmore go? Teams like the Denver Broncos and New York Giants would make sense. The Cowboys could also draft the Alabama football star. However, this would be very rich for a defensive tackle. More likely, he could go in the teens to a team like the Raiders or the Vikings. Interior defensive linemen isn’t a top need for almost any team, but they can’t wait if they want to draft one of starter quality.

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It is always fun to talk about other Alabama football stars in this 2021 NFL Draft, but don’t forget about Christian Barmore in the trenches. His name could be called before plenty of other Tide players.