Please accept this as my confession that I have done you wrong. That even me, who has has more years with correct picks than no correct picks since back in the Late Cretaceous period, is capable of missing one.
There are a couple of reasons this really hurts, neither of which has anything to do with Christian Baramore, who is a solid, blue chip prospect. The first is strictly professional. When the Patriots re-signed defensive tackles Lawrence Guy and Deatrich Wise, Jr., kept Byron Cowart and signed Henry Anderson (from the Jets) and Davon Godchaux (from the Dolphins), it just didn't seem that interior DL was much of a priority. At least not worth me spending hours of my precious, invaluable time pouring over their heights, weights and 40 times. So I skipped the position and focused on more immediate areas of Patriots needs.
The other reason is personal. I had a two hour conversation with my oldest brother Jack Wednesday. The one who raised me from birth like a veal calf to be a Patriots draft guru. And he specifically mentioned Christian Barmore as someone he was targeting. True story. I haven't felt more ashamed in his presence since the time the Pats took Logan Mankins and I turned to him and said, "I swear to you I have never heard this man's name before." And he replied, "I had the Patriots taking him, but in the 2nd round." The only thing worse than failing, is failing to a member of your family you were born to be better than. That was my Mufasa vs. Scar moment. And this business of him getting Barmore while I missed out will only open up old wounds.
Anyway, here is his draft profile, courtesy of NFL.com. Projected as just where they predicted he would, in the 1st or 2nd round:
6-foot-4, 310 pounds
Attack-oriented defensive tackle with a big body, violent hands and the talent to work his way around blocks and find the football. Barmore tends to be in the lead and take control of a majority of reps. His hands and feet sing in harmony and allow him to stay active and free from attempts to sustain blocks against him. His hands are heavy and powerful but also sudden and efficient, which creates early win opportunities for him in the run game and as a pass rusher. Barmore can be his own worst enemy when he freestyles his run fits and prematurely gives away positioning when posting up in read-and-react mode. He’s exceptional at finding a blocker’s edge and swiping past the outside hand to bring the ruckus inside the pocket. While he has similar size and skill set, it doesn’t feel like he’s as long at the point of attack as past Alabama defensive tackles now in the pros. Barmore’s explosive first step, violent hands and upper-body power are the ingredients of a three-down defender with the versatility to play a number of positions in an even or odd front as an impactful rookie starter
And, for what it's worth, their NFL comparison is Marcell Dareus.
While interior defensive lineman are not, by anyone's standards, the sexiest picks, you also cannot function without them. Everyone loves the sunroof, detailing and boss racing stripe, but it's the brake drums and rotors that make the vehicle functional. The Pats defense was Pro Football Focus' [paywall] 22nd graded when it came to stopping the run. As we've learned in the past from Ted Washington, Vince Wilfork, Danny Shelton and others, you cannot have enough of big, wide-body, space eating war daddies with sand in their pants who can occupy two blockers to free up the rest of the defenders to make stops. That's not me predicting Barmore will be the guy they need. I haven't done homework on him. And we won't know until he plays.
All we can glean out of this decision by Belichick to move up is that he is not about to start getting passive in this draft. He is seeing what he wants, if necessary, doing whatever it takes to get that guy.
And if he played for Nick Saban, so much the better. We are 2-for-2 on Bama players. Hail Saban.