Arizona Cardinals: Christian Barmore may be first-round pick
The possibilities for the first night of the upcoming NFL Draft appear to be endless for the Arizona Cardinals. Cornerback, wide receiver, offensive line, running back and even the tight end position have all been mentioned as options for the club’s 16th-overall selection. In case those scenarios weren’t enough, it’s now time to add a defensive lineman to that mix for the Cards as well.
Christian Barmore, a 6’5, 310 pounder out of the University of Alabama, could also find his way onto Arizona’s opening round radar. The 21-year old was a First-team All-SEC nominee last fall following an outstanding performance for the Crimson Tide. Could the Cardinals be impressed enough with Barmore to make him their first-round choice?
In 11 games last season, Barmore totaled 37 tackles (9.5 for a loss), eight sacks and three passes defensed for Alabama. The youngster was named National Championship Defensive MVP following the Crimson Tide’s 52-24 victory over Ohio State. Barmore registered five tackles (two for a loss) and a sack during the school’s impressive triumph over the Buckeyes.
The Cards addressed the front wall of their defense during the spring of 2020 when they inked Jordan Phillips to a three-year, $30 million contract. The former Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills defender was a disappointment last year, contributing just 11 tackles and two sacks in nine appearances for the Redbirds. Barmore could be an eventual replacement for Phillips, who’s release in 2022 would save the team $8 million against the salary cap.
Arizona’s front office made a huge splash back on March 1st when they added the sensational J.J. Watt to their defensive front. Last year, general manager Steve Keim acquired two young prospects to act as reinforcements for the line. Both Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence showed promise after being chosen during the fourth round of the ’20 draft.
The addition of Barmore would go a long way in helping to improve a defensive line that has been mediocre at best for several seasons. The Philadelphia native would become part of a rotation that has the potential to be special in 2021. For that reason alone, it would not be surprising to see Barmore selected by the Cardinals when April 29th rolls around.