Although the Eagles don’t have an immediate need at defensive tackle, one name to keep an eye on as we enter draft night is Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore.
Selecting this Crimson Tide product would be widely unpopular among the fan base, especially if guys like DeVonta Smith of Jaycee Horn are on the board. But we know Howie Roseman puts a lot of emphasis on building through the trenches, and Barmore is considered by many as the best interior defensive lineman in an otherwise weak DT class.
Since 1970, the Eagles have spent 32.6% of their first round picks on defensive lineman. If the team doesn’t select a defensive lineman in the first round of this year’s draft, it’ll be the longest gap since 2000 in which they haven’t.
With all that being said, let’s take a look at Barmore’s scouting report and how he may fit in the Eagles defense.
Standing at 6’5”, 310 pounds, Barmore was a menace along Alabama’s defensive line during his collegiate career. In two seasons with the Crimson Tide, Barmore racked up 10 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss, 63 total tackles, 5 pass deflections, and 3 forced fumbles. That amount of production would be noteworthy for an edge rusher, let alone a defensive tackle.
Despite being an enormous human being, Barmore plays with outstanding quickness. Playing primarily in the three-tech with Alabama, Barmore utilized his agility to gain leverage on his opponents, and he showcased smooth lateral movement when maneuvering through blocks.
While his pass rushing arsenal isn’t very nuanced, he still found ways to get the quarterback with his explosiveness.
Barmore is still a bit raw as a defensive tackle prospect, but his outstanding athleticism to go along with his size and length make him an enticing prospect and someone who will surely garner interest in the first round.
If Roseman was to draft him, allowing him to learn behind a Pro Bowl talent like Fletcher Cox will only benefit Barmore’s long-term development. He would be a great rotational piece along the defensive line before becoming a full-time starter in a year or so.
Not to mention, he was born and raised in Philadelphia and he initially committed to play for Temple right out of high school. Barmore coming back home to play for his hometown team would be a nice story, but certainly not enough to get fans on board with this selection if it were to happen.
As I’ve already eluded to, Barmore will need to develop his technique before making a profound impact at the next level. He has the physical tools to be great, but in all honesty, so does every other defensive tackle who gets drafted in the first round.
Can he actually develop his game and become a Pro Bowl talent? It’s hard to say. While his production at Bama was outstanding, his developmental jump from year one to year two wasn’t as great as some expected. Granted, he was dealing with a knee injury at the beginning of the 2020 season, and he came alive in the latter half of the year. But he has a tendency to rely too heavily on his pure quickness and athleticism at times, and it showed when he played a little dinged up.
The Eagles would have the luxury of only playing Barmore in certain situations since they have Cox and Javon Hargrave already penciled in as starters. But then again, you want your first round to selection to start from day one, not be a long-term project.
Roseman probably has Barmore on his radar entering day one of the draft. He likes his defensive lineman and he’s had success building his teams along the defensive/offensive lines. But now’s not the time to get cute. The Eagles have at least three bigger needs entering this draft (CB, WR, LB), they can’t afford to draft a rotational defensive tackle just because it fits their team building philosophy.
Barmore is a nice prospect with potential to be a solid starter in this league, but the Eagles shouldn’t draft him. Point blank, end of story. Spend your draft capital on someone who will have an immediate impact on this team, Howie, for all of our sakes.