2018 Draft Profile: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Minkah Fitzpatrick
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Minkah Fitzpatrick /

With the 2017 NCAA Football season right around the corner, Minkah Fitzpatrick will be a fun player to watch!

The 2016 Alabama football team was a fun one to watch. Led by a power running game and a stellar defense, it felt like they couldn’t be beaten. Alabamas top corner Marlon Humphries was a first round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Thier top Saftey, Eddie Jackson went in the fourth round of the draft, falling due to health concerns. That left Minkah Fitzpatrick as the top member of the secondary.

Fitzpatrick was a five-star recruit coming out of high school. He was an elite talent and chose to play for Nick Saban at Alabama. At the time Alabama already had a stacked secondary, however, they were also putting out first round picks every season. Minkah made the decision to play for Saban with the hopes of building his resume.

Fitzpatrick is a big, strong, athletic defensive back. He has great lateral speed and is a ball hawk in Saban’s system. Last season he grabbed five interceptions in nickel and dime situations. He had three of those against Arkansas, so those numbers may be a little inflated. However, he showed that he could develop into and every down corner for Alabama this upcoming season.

Fitzpatrick has better than average ball skills. He showed the ability to get to the ball from all points of the field. Fitzpatrick also seemed to do a good job watching quarterbacks eyes and anticipating. He showed this in the Arkansas Game against Austin Allen. Allen is considered by many to be a good processing quarterback wich leads to Fitzpatrick having good anticipation skills.

His size will allow him to do great things next season, especially at the point of attack. NFL scouts will want to see how well he functions in press man sets. Given that he is above six-foot tall teams will be interested in seeing how well he does in that role.

He will also need to show that he can turn his hips against vertical receivers. At times last season, he got beat on deep routes. Coach Saban did a good job of hiding some of the things he still needs work on like press coverage. This season will be his opportunity to show teams he can excel.

One of Fitzpatrick’s major upside is his versatility. He showed last season that he can play corner as well as safety. It will be interesting to see where coach Saban lines him up. Alabama Has a need at corner and safety, Fitzpatrick can go either way. If Alabama does elect to play Fitzpatrick at Safety it will be interesting to see where teams view him at the next level. Similar to Jalen Ramsey a couple season ago, teams may elect to project him at corner either way.

No matter which position Fitzpatrick ends up playing, he will be fun to watch. Adding to the long line of Alabama defensive backs that have gone on to do great things. Fitzpatrick is a dynamic player who will give scouts and analyst some good material going into the 2018 NFL draft.