2018 NFL Draft Big Board: Ranking the Top 10 Prospects

ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 05: Derwin James
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 05: Derwin James /
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7. Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama

Minkah Fitzpatrick is a unique defensive back prospect who can fill multiple roles on a defense. Alabama uses him all over the field including on the outside, in the slot and at safety. Fitzpatrick has handled each of these roles extremely well.

It’s his instincts and natural feel for the game that really stands out. He is able to read the quarterback and put himself in position to make a play on the football. His ability to peel off his target and get his hands on a ball intended for someone else is rare.

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Alabama mainly asks Fitzpatrick to work in zone coverage. This allows him to trust his reads and close on the football. He routinely takes great routes to the ball which helps him generate pass breakups and tally interceptions.

Fitzpatrick also features the overall balance and athleticism to also hold up in man coverage. However, it’s something that he will need time to perfect through more experience. His willingness to support the run makes him a complete player. Fitzpatrick approaches the ball carrier with balance. This helps him make sound tackles and limit the amount of yards gained after contact.

Overall, Fitzpatrick is a top-flight defender who can impact the game in many ways. His ability to generate turnovers is something every defensive coordinator covets.