The New England Patriots’ 2021 draft class was a major reason for the team returning to the playoffs after its one-year absence. While first-round quarterback Mac Jones was the most prominent player of the bunch, the contributions from second-round defensive tackle Christian Barmore also cannot be underestimated.
Appearing in all 18 games, Barmore proved himself a disruptive presence in the middle of New England’s defensive line. Given the promise he showed — head coach Bill Belichick himself said that he has a “real good future” ahead of him — it is no surprise that Barmore has been named the team’s early breakout candidate for the 2022 season by Pro Football Focus.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: DI CHRISTIAN BARMORE
2021 PFF Grade: 63.1
Barmore had one of the best second-halves by any interior pass-rusher in 2021, much less rookies at the position.
The Alabama product was the 12th-ranked player on PFF’s big board but slid to Round 2. With his build, flexibility, explosiveness and hand usage, Barmore looked like a surefire impact NFL interior defensive lineman. So far, he’s proving that to be the true and has the chance to establish himself as a top-tier player at the position.
Barmore was impressive down the stretch in 2021. According to PFF, he registered the second best pressure rate and third best pass-rush win rate among all NFL defensive tackles after Week 9.
The Alabama product is a prime candidate to make the famous second-year jump this season. The Patriots’ defense, which ranked near the top of the league during the regular season but gave up 47 points to the Buffalo Bills in its playoff loss, would be all the better for it.