New England Patriots

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 18: Christian Barmore #90 of the New England Patriots reacts after tackling Qadree Ollison #30 of the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Our 2021 Patriots Rookie Review begins with one of the most impactful first year players taken out of Alabama. No, that description doesn’t just fit Mac Jones (Matt Dolloff will have more on him tomorrow), but National Championship Defensive MVP and 38th overall pick, defensive tackle Christian Barmore.

Just how high were the Patriots on Barmore heading into the draft? Moving up to take him was the only trade they made the whole weekend. Belichick gave up two fourth-round picks (122nd, 139th) to move up eight spots and draft Barmore.

The Patriots had been hesitant to give rookies sizable roles in recent years, but Barmore’s usage in 2021 certainly broke the mold. He played 55.42 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, which was the second most of any defensive lineman and just under four percentage points fewer than Davon Godchaux.

Coming out of Alabama, Barmore was seen primarily as an NFL-ready pass rush specialist interior lineman. That’s a rare mold of player in the NFL, and that evaluation made him a logical candidate for the Patriots after losing Adam Butler in free agency last year. Barmore ended up filling Butler’s role and then some. In fact, his usage rate ended up being five points higher than Butler’s final year in New England.

MORE: Silver linings from the 2021 Patriots season

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.