For the second season in a row, the Green Bay Packers will be near the bottom of the NFL Draft. After a second straight NFC Championship appearance, general manager Brian Gutekunst finds himself with a roster that has just come short of a Super Bowl appearance.
While some expect the team to select a playmaker for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the team has had a glaring hole in the middle of their defense. This has left the Packers vulnerable to great rushing offenses and caused struggles in the pass rush. That is why Gutekunst will make a safe pick at #29, solidifying their defensive interior.
Enter defensive tackle out of Alabama, Christian Barmore.
At a stout 6-foot-5, 310 lbs, Barmore is an imposing force on the interior and an astounding athlete. At Alabama’s pro day, the sophomore clocked an impressive 4.93 40 yard dash and a 4.75 shuttle. While he didn’t participate in the bench press, Barmore has more than shown his strength on the field and it shows in his numbers.
In just two seasons playing under Nick Saban, Barmore combined for 63 tackles, 15.5 of which for loss. He also wreaked havoc on quarterbacks, collecting ten sacks and five pass deflections.
On tape, everything checks out. Christian Barmore is the real deal.
A tale as old as time, regardless of the sport, regardless of the draft: character concerns. The number one weakness of Barmore has nothing to do with his ability on game day, but with his preparation. According to multiple reports, Barmore was very frustrating to work with at Alabama and consistently caused problems when asked to work within the defense. While it should be taken with a grain of salt, considering nothing concrete has come out, it does cause concerns. Especially for teams willing to spend a first-round pick at the position.
The only other weakness I’ve come across is the talent and system that he plays in. Nick Saban is considered the Bill Belichick of college football. He can seemingly succeed with anybody within his system, which can hurt the draft stock of top performers on his defense. This weakness can be seen as a bit of a stretch because Barmore’s raw talent is obvious. However, it cannot be ignored and a deeper dive on his film certainly shows that he benefited from a loaded front seven.
This pick will probably drive the common Green Bay Packers fan nuts, but it is a solid pick. While a top-tier weapon for Aaron Rodgers would make a ton of sense, addressing a glaring hole on defense makes even more sense. Especially with a guy like Barmore, who has no business dropping in the draft. Personally, I think the character concerns are a little overblown. With no combine and no legitimate in-person interviews this draft cycle, a lot of the concerns can be seen as ‘he said, she said’.
I think Barmore is an absolute monster in the middle and proved it against an impressive front like Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff. The Packers got flat-out embarrassed up front last season and Kenny Clark can only do so much. Christian Barmore is the exact type of inside/outside threat that they’ve been looking for.