The New England Patriots apparently looked at last season’s interior defensive line performance and decided that changes needed to be made. Free agency was the first step in this process with Davon Godchaux, Henry Anderson and Montravius Adams all being added as unrestricted free agents. New England also re-signed Lawrence Guy, Deatrich Wise Jr. and Carl Davis to further bolster the depth up front.
While all those moves helped raise the floor at the position, the Patriots were not done just yet. In the second day of the NFL Draft, they also moved up eight spots to add Alabama’s Christian Barmore to the equation. Arguably the best defensive tackle in the draft, Barmore offers an intriguing combination of size and upside and should be able to get some early snaps as part of New England’s defensive tackle rotation.
What he also brings to the equation is durability, as a look at his injury history illustrates.
2019 (Alabama): Barmore remained on the ground late during the Crimson Tide’ November game versus Western Carolina and had to leave the field with an apparent injury. He remained on the sideline, however, and was spotted riding a stationary bike. No injury was announced during or after the game, and he was back in the lineup the following week against Auburn. Whatever bothered him was no major issue.
2020 (Alabama): Barmore’s final season in Tuscaloosa had to end one week later as planned. He sprained his right knee leading up to the season opener and had to sit out the first game of the year because of the ailment. While the injury might have limited him a bit through the early parts of the season — he recorded no statistics in Week 2 against Texas A&M, for example — Barmore still established himself as an early-round defender and went on to appear in Alabama’s final 12 games of the season.
What this means for the Patriots
Just like his college teammate Mac Jones, whom the Patriots drafted in the first round, Barmore also does not bring any noticeable injury history to the pro level. The sprained knee might have been an issue at the time and could have impacted his performances in 2020, but it is unlikely to cause any problems heading into the preparation for his upcoming rookie season with the Patriots.
As a result, New England can feel good about its investment — not just the player himself but also the trade to get him — and Barmore’s outlook as a prominent piece of the D-line rotation. While freak accidents can happen in the NFL, the absence of any nagging issues or soft tissue problems are certainly a positive as he embarks on a new and more physically challenging journey.