The SYBEIYTDTG series is designed to give you a bite-sized synopsis of players who will be eligible for the 2021 NFL draft in Cleveland.
The X Factor. The wild card. That’s what Alabama DT Christian Barmore is right now. Turn on the first couple games from the 2020 season, and you’ll see Barmore as a somewhat typical, rotational ‘Bama lineman. Holds up well in the run game, has a couple decent plays collapsing the pocket, but not much else. Then, we turn on the CFB playoff games, and Barmore is suddenly a world ender. This tweet summarizes the Notre Dame game quite well.
So what gives? My take is this. First, Barmore is inexperienced with actual game time, technically starting only six games in his college career. Playing for Bama, underclassman rarely see the field often, being required to go through the system and wait their turn. Second, he was dealing with recovery from a knee injury early in the 2020 season, which clearly limited his mobility. 2019 Barmore is a FREAK athlete, as is late 2020 Barmore. But I think the biggest factor to his inconsistency is what O-line he’s facing. He moves like a gazelle against zone blocking schemes, which allows his explosive power to exploit off-balance guards in the run game. However, power gap schemes give him more trouble, as he doesn’t have the refinement to consistently shed larger blockers moving downhill at him. Watch the play at the 1:02 mark here (Barmore is 58).
Don’t think he lacks strength though!
The buzzword with Barmore is potential. Can a limited starter with excellent physical traits put the pieces together? I believe he will with the right coaching and scheme fit. He won’t be a DROY candidate, but throw him in a veteran NFL D-line room to learn from, and he’ll be wrecking games by year 3.