Minkah Fitzpatrick   S/CB   Alabama


Minkah has the football intelligence to be a coach on the field and the pure overall athletic talent to play any position in your defensive backfield. At the cornerback position he has excellent feet, speed and those quick hips that make it easy for him to change direction and stay on the hip of any receiver all the way down the field. He also has those long arms and excellent make up speed to be a shut down corner at the next level. As a safety he has the size to play up near the line, the speed to play in the center of your defense and cover side line to sideline and the hands to make the interception. The truth is, on the football field there is not much this kid can’t do and he is the type of player you can build your defense back field around.

If you select Minkah and you make him the focal point of your defense, pray he doesn’t get hurt because there is no way you will be able to replace his production. Of course that is a ridicules excuse not to select a player yet it is still a negative…a dumb one but still…it is a negative. I would like to see better form tackling from Minkah in the open field but that being said he gets the job done tackling in the open field in college so I suspect he will do the same in the NFL. Safeties have to be SURE tacklers or they won’t be good safeties much less franchise defensive players that Minkah has the potential to be. The only other concern that will make Minkah NOT considered as an early pick in this draft would be medical, as we all know hidden medicals issues on Alabama players have surprised teams in the past.

Minkah is one of the best defensive players in this draft. As far as replacing his production on the field I know that seems dumb but just look at what happens to the Seahawks and Chiefs defense when their productive and talent safeties, Eric Berry and Earl Thomas get injured. It hurts them dramatically because not only are you missing a player who can play more than one position on any given play, you are also down your coach on the field. That’s the potential Minkah has for the team that selects him. He can rotate to any position on any given play in your back field and will be a coach on the field. So what’s the answer? It certainly isn’t “not to draft him” because he’s so good! That would be ridicules and if you’re a GM, and you think that way start looking for a job in a supermarket because that’s all your worth. The answer is too draft him and then make sure you have a least someone in your backfield who can at least be a coach on the field when he goes down. You might not be able to replace his talent but you should be able to find a player who is equal to Minkah’s football IQ.

Drew Boylhart   DEC.2017