This has been mentioned around these parts of the internet before, but it is worth revisiting: if Dallas Cowboys first-round linebacker Micah Parsons had not delivered one of the most impressive rookie seasons in recent memory, there would have been a decent chance for the New England Patriots’ Christian Barmore to be named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Barmore, after all, had a quality season of his own. While not making the same consistent big plays as Parsons in Dallas, he proved himself a disruptive member of New England’s defensive line — one who showcased his tremendous potential on a weekly basis.
The following tweet posted by Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner is more proof of that, and statistical confirmation that Barmore played on a very high level in his first season in the league:
DTs with 40+ pressures as a rookie since 2006:— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) February 22, 2022
52 Leonard Williams
48 DeForest Buckner
44 Aaron Donald
43 J.J. Watt
42 Chris Jones
41 Ndamukong Suh
That's some damn good company for the Patriots second-rounder
Barmore’ 48 quarterback pressures ranking him second on the list of rookie disruptors since 2006 — only Leonard Williams’ 52 with the New York Jets in 2015 tops that number — shows just how impactful he was. The company on that list makes the feat even more impressive: DeForest Buckner, Aaron Donald, J.J. Watt, Chris Jones and Ndamukong Suh all built some quality (and in part Hall of Fame) careers on the foundation laid as rookies.
Obviously, Barmore following their footsteps is no guarantee. Nonetheless, the Patriots can feel very good about what their second-round investment brought to the table in 2021. The numbers very much back that perspective up, as do head coach Bill Belichick’s statements after the season.
“Christian played a lot of snaps this year. He took a lot of snaps in practice. He was a durable and dependable player for us,” Belichick said after the Patriots’ season came to an end in mid-January. “I think he has a real good future.”
New England traded up in the second round of last year’s draft to grab Barmore — the first defensive tackle to come off the board — with the 38th overall selection. The Alabama product went on to appear in all 18 of the team’s games, being on the field for 631 of the Patriots’ 1,135 defensive snaps (55.6%).