2018 NFL Draft: Scouting Minkah Fitzpatrick

nfl draft

Minkah Fitzpatrick
Defensive back #29
Junior, 6’0,” 201 pounds

Strengths:

  • Versatile defender with the size, athleticism, instincts and play-making skills to handle multiple roles in the defensive backfield
  • Once he locates the ball and is in position to make a play, it’s his
  • Understands his run fits and responsibilities with the ability to marry the desired amount of patience as plays develop
  • Strong initial punch allows him to challenge with mirror technique to flatten receivers at the line
  • Marriage of instincts and football intelligence highlight his feel for developing routes, limiting early separation
  • Possesses a smooth gait with the long-speed to prevent vertical separation and challenge throws over the top
  • Active and disciplined eyes efficiently work through combos and read 2-to-1 to quickly pick up his responsibilities
  • Aggressive downhill pursuer with the closing speed to cap run-after-the-catch opportunities underneath
  • Isn’t content with simply laying his hands on blockers, looking to forcefully strike and displace
  • Blend of reaction time and balance and twitch when driving rarely gives quarterbacks underneath opportunities
  • Provides special teams experience

 

Weaknesses

  • Propensity to deliver forceful impact on ball carriers when he has chest-up tackle opportunities lands him in trouble
  • Motor and hustle tick at an incredibly consistent level, but he’s still learning to harness both in tight confines
  • Occasionally commits his hips and feet to the release before the receivers have declared their stem
  • A handful of frustratingly dropped interceptions are found in his film
  • Smooth, methodical flow in off-man isn’t as consistent as one would hope, providing extended amounts of space

Pro comp: Tyrann Mathieu

Draft projection: Top 10

Arguably the draft’s most versatile defender, Fitzpatrick is a ready-made defensive back who can handle duties as a safety or cornerback. Fitzpatrick’s strengths check the requisite boxes for back-end NFL defenders and his weaknesses are that of consistency over skill and technique, suggesting he should crack an Opening Day starting lineup. That, in addition to his elite technical refinement and athletic profile, make it difficult to suggest he won’t hear in his name called within the draft’s first 10 selections.




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