2021 NFL Draft Scouting Reports: Christian Barmore
Christian Barmore, 6-5/310
Christian Barmore Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Athletic; fast interior pass rusher
Closes on quarterbacks in a hurry
Speed to dart by guards
Speed-to-power rushes to go through lineman
Ability to bull rush
Can sink his hips and play low
Active hands to fight off blockers
Length to keep blockers out of his chest
Nice ball awareness for a defensive tackle
Ability to shed blocks
Slippery at the point of attack
Good burst off the ball; first-step quickness
Good vision, awareness
Carries weight well
Natural three-technique for a 4-3
Lots of athletic upside to improve in the NFL
Needs to get tougher as a run defender
Will struggle with bump blocks and double teams as a pro
Could stand to improve his strength to hold his ground against downhill runs
Maturity needs to improve
Has to become more professional on and off the field
Needs to become more well-rounded, consistent
Summary: Alabama has produced a string of excellent interior defensive line prospects under Nick Saban. Crimson Tide defensive tackles Marcel Dareus, Jonathan Allen, Da'Ron Payne and Quinnen Williams were all first-round picks, and Barmore could keep that tradition alive in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Barmore first saw the field as a rotational backup during his redshirt freshman season in 2019. He recorded 26 tackles, two sacks, and two passes defended while flashing big potential. Barmore took over as a starter in 2020 after dealing with an injury early in the season. As the year progressed, Barmore started dominating opponents, including excellent performances against Notre Dame and Ohio State in the college football playoff. Barmore totaled 27 tackles with six sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes batted in 2020 while helping Alabama win another National Championship. Barmore had potentially three more years of eligibility, but he decided to enter the 2021 NFL Draft rather than return to Alabama.
As an interior pass rusher, Barmore is a special and rare prospect. He has excellent speed off the snap, including a fast first-step, and more acceleration after that initial burst. He gets upfield in a hurry given his ability to fire his gap and dart past guards, which is surprisingly fast for a big-bodied defensive tackle. That quickness to leads to speed-to-power rushes on which Barmore rolls offensive linemen into the quarterback as they backpedal to try to compensate for his speed. While Barmore is not strong in the ground game, he shows power in the bull rush to get blockers on roller skates and push them into the backfield. Barmore also uses his length to keep blockers from getting into his chest, plus he has strong hands to shed blocks. On top of his speed and power as a pass rusher, Barmore also has good vision and awareness to adjust to scrambling quarterbacks, showing impressive ball awareness to go for the strip or bat down passes.
Barmore is very difficult to block as a pass rusher, and he has the rare ability to effectively rush from the interior of line. Barmore has the potential to be special defensive tackle who produces double-digit sack seasons. Barmore's in-line pass-rush ability coming from a defensive tackle is a very tough commodity to find, and if he has a good defensive end on his line, he could be even more deadly.
If Barmore were a good run defender, he would be a top-10 pick, similar to Quinnen Williams. Williams was good against the run, however, while Barmore struggled in the ground game for a lot of his collegiate career. As a pro, Barmore has to get physical and tougher in the ground game. He often lost his gap by improvising rather than holding his ground in college. He can also play too high and get physically overwhelmed by offense linemen. Barmore has the skill set to be a good run defender, and showed improvement late in 2020, but he is currently a liability as a run defender for the next level and needs a lot of development in this phase.
Barmore's best fit in the NFL would be as a three-technique in a 4-3 defense. In a 3-4, he could play as a defensive end who rushes from the inside in the sub package. Barmore played both end and tackle at Alabama, demonstrating the athletic versatility to get after the quarterback from both positions. As a pro in typical NFL sub packages, which are played 70 percent of snaps, Barmore would fit as a one-gap penetrating pass-rusher on the inside of the line.
WalterFootball.com learned from area scouts that while Barmore had first-round flashes and showing some potentially dynamic ability on his game tape, his lack of consistency keeps him from being solidly in Round 1. Those scouts feel Barmore needs to mature on and off the field to provide more consistent effort. That isn't surprising considering he was only a redshirt sophomore in 2020. Those scouts feel that if Barmore had returned to school and become more well-rounded, he could have been a top-10 pick in the 2022 or 2023 NFL Draft. His pro coaching staff is going to need develop Barmore into being a worker who provides consistent effort in training, practice, and down-by-down in games.
Barmore is still the top defensive tackle prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. Some teams have given him second-day grades, but given his rare pass-rush ability, he probably will be selected in the back half of the first round.
Player Comparison: Chris Jones. Barmore's interior pass-rush ability looks comparable to Chris Jones'. Jones (6-6, 310) and Barmore are almost identical in size and have rare quickness and speed to get after the quarterback. Like Barmore, Jones had some raw elements to his game coming out of Mississippi State, which is why he slipped to the second round. Jones landed with the Chiefs, which did a great job developing him into one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL. Barmore is very similar to Jones in needing development but having big-time potential for the NFL.