Buccaneers Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp joined Scott Reynolds and Mark Cook on Monday’s edition of the Pewter Report Podcast to discuss the top defensive tackle prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With Tampa Bay potentially in position to draft a defensive tackle high this year, Sapp, Reynolds and Cook started the discussion with the consensus top-rated interior defensive lineman, Alabama’s Christian Barmore. And while many draft analysts have Barmore coming off the board in the first round when the NFL Draft begins on April 29, Sapp is far from convinced that Barmore is a first-round talent.
Alabama DT Christian Barmore – Photo by: USA Today
“Let’s wait for the evaluation,” Sapp said. “Because what I saw when I went over to the Yo Murphy Performance (Compound) was not even third-round material.”
Elaborating on that thought, Sapp spoke about when he traveled to Yo Murphy Performance Compound in Tampa to work with Barmore, who had eight sacks last year for the Crimson Tide.
“I had a chance to get him on the football field and walk him through the five steps to the quarterback, and if they’re telling me that this is a first round guy then Aaron Donald really did get blocked 70 percent on the double teams,” Sapp said. “I just promise you this, if these eyes right here that you’re looking at are telling a lie about talent, then shoot me. I won’t talk anymore football. If this kid’s a first-round pick then I won’t talk football (on social media) for a full year. I won’t make a tweet or an Instagram post unless the kids’ playing sports. It’s nothing personal, but I’ll take off a whole year if Barmore is a first-round pick.”
Sapp discussed some of the details about what went wrong with Barmore’s session with the QB Killa.
“I got up at 5:30 a.m. and drove to Tampa to get there by 10:30 a.m.,” Sapp said. “I threw my hat and my lovely ROKA sunglasses . . . I’ve thrown my hat and my sunglasses, and at one point I’m sitting there like, ‘Do this,’ and he’s doing something else. To the point where another person said, ‘You’re not doing that,’ and he looked at both of us like, ‘What?’ So I tried it one more time, and then when he didn’t do it that time I picked up my glasses and my visor and I walked off. I didn’t say another word to anybody. I just left.”
Sapp believes that despite Barmore’s high ranking from draft analysts, they stand alone in that evaluation while those with the responsibility of actually making the draft picks likely view him much differently.
“I guarantee you they do,” Sapp said about draft analysts ranking Barmore higher than NFL front offices. “Because what you look at as a scout is the eye test on the tape. He was in the National Championship and I thought, ‘that the kid was a baller’ myself. I couldn’t wait to get up [to Tampa to work Barmore out.]”
And while Sapp argues that he wasn’t at the facility to coach Barmore up, but simply to help him round out parts of his game, the Hall of Famer wasn’t able to get through to the young defensive tackle despite his best efforts.
“I’m not coaching you up,” Sapp said of his time with Barmore. “I’m just watching what you’re doing to see if I can shave a little corner for you because I’ve watched the position. These eyes aren’t going to lie to me four feet down.”
Cook followed up Sapp’s statement with a question, does Barmore’s issue lie in the fact that he wasn’t willing to take his directions or that he couldn’t follow the directions? Sapp responded bluntly.
“Both,” Sapp said. “If I tell you to swing your left arm and you move your right, I’ve got a real issue – and that’s just one example. Trust me. For me to throw my visor and throw my $300 glasses, I’m telling you. I’m like, ‘Is there something wrong with me?'”
Warren Sapp and Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett – Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While Sapp has his opinions and is rarely shy to share them, he’s been wrong about prospects before.
“I don’t see it from this kid,” Sapp said about defensive end Myles Garrett years ago before his first overall selection in 2017. “I see the splash plays, everybody gets those. Where’s the game he took over? Where? Any defensive lineman who’s the No. 1 pick, you turn it up and you say, ‘There it is!’ This kid, no, I don’t. I’m a pretty plain and frank guy and I watch the tape and he disappears. I watch the tape and he absolutely disappears.”
So whether Sapp is right or wrong on his evaluation about Barmore – and he’s even put one whole year of talking on social media on the line behind it – he’s made his opinion of Barmore crystal clear: he isn’t close to a first-round pick in his eyes.
Watch the entire episode of the Pewter Report Podcast with Sapp on the PewterReportTV YouTube channel by clicking below.