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Nick Saban disputes criticism of Christian Barmore

Chris Simms lists his top defensive tackles for the 2021 NFL Draft with a star from Washington taking the top spot.

Nick Saban has seen some of the criticism of Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore, prompting the coach to stump for his former player.

Saban refutes the idea that Barmore was resistant to coaching.

“We never had any issues here with him at all when it came to structure, whether it was football or academics,’' Saban told Mary Kay Cabot of “He always worked hard in the offseason program, and he did whatever everybody told him to do. We were were very structured in regards to academics, and he worked very hard at that.’'

Saban also disputes that Barmore had any maturity issues.

“I never had a problem with him. He’s a good kid,” Saban said.

In a down year for defensive tackles, Barmore is one of the best available. He earned Defensive MVP of Alabama’s national championship victory over Ohio State.

Barmore finished the two playoff games with two sacks, 12 pressures and seven tackles, including three for loss.

“He just has really good initial quickness for a big guy, and he’s a really good inside pass-rusher and he was very productive for us as a player,’' Saban said. “He’s very instinctive as a rusher.’'