Minkah Fitzpatrick– S/CB
School: University of Alabama
Weight: 201 pounds
Minkah Fitzpatrick NFL Draft Profile
Minkah Fitzpatrick has been a playmaker since he stepped on the field as a freshman. Let’s keep in mind how rare that is at Alabama, as most top prospects have to wait a year before they see real playing time. Fitzpatrick is an exception to that rule, as he started 10 games at “star” cornerback during his freshman year. He had two interceptions and both went for touchdowns. Those two picks, along with his 11 pass break-ups and 45 tackles put him on the Freshman All-American team. In 2016, Fitzpatrick moved to safety after Eddie Jackson got hurt, and added six more interceptions and two more pick-sixes. Fitzpatrick was a first team All-American in his final two seaons at Alabama.
Fitzpatrick had 24 passes defensed during his three years under Nick Saban, and he is the type of player that can change the culture of a football team. He has two national championships, is an All American at the high school level, and has the tools to be one of the best defensive backs in the NFL at cornerback or safety.
Elite Ball Skills
Fitzpatrick knows how to get the ball. His nine career interceptions and 24 career passes defended speak for themselves. Fitzpatrick has been able to find the ball and take it the other way at both cornerback and safety. His four career pick-sixes are the most in Alabama history. His range at safety factors in here too, he can get to the ball no matter where it is on the field, just like Earl Thomas.
Affecting the game at all levels
Fitzpatrick is an efficient blitzer, with 4.5 career sacks over his three years. He hits hard, comes downhill with immense speed and tackles well. With 171 career tackles, he has proven that he can be a great clean up man. Fitzpatrick can fly in at the end and finish players off, or bring guys down by himself. He plays well in run support, and is proficient in man-coverage.
Fitzpatrick was able to play both safety and corner in college, and has the ability to step in and play right away at both positions in the NFL. He has the range, vision, and above average man-coverage ability. While he seems to project much better as a safety, he would definitely be able to hold his own at corner.
As well as Fitzpatrick can play all over the place, he might not be able to be a full time cornerback in the NFL. His hips are a little stiff and he doesn’t have the true lateral range of a corner. He tends to allow too much separation out of route breaks, and NFL quarterbacks can take advantage of that a lot better than college QB’s.
Too Much Intensity
Minkah plays full tilt, full time. As great as that is for a team, he can sometimes play too fast, and too aggressive. If there is one thing he truly needs to learn for the next level, it’s patience. Fitzpatrick has incredible speed and ball skills but his overaggressive play style could lead to some missed tackles and long touchdowns at the next level.
Fitzpatrick can change a defense. His speed and range can be a cornerstone defensive piece. He can also be an excellent leader off the field who can start from day one. You can use him all over the place but he would definitely fit best as a free safety in a Cover 1 or Cover 3 set where he can truly sit back and play center field. You can send him on blitzes, put him in man, whatever scheme the defense runs, Fitzpatrick will find a way to fit. He has a very high floor, and definitely has Pro Bowl and All-Pro potential.
NFL Player Comparison
Teams with need at Safety
Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers