In this 2018 NFL Draft profile, we look at the strengths and weaknesses of cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick out of the University of Alabama.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is considered the top cornerback in the 2018 NFL Draft from many NFL insiders. Fitzpatrick has an NFL ready skill set and should do well as a dominant corner/safety in the league. Many teams will want him and he will improve any roster the moment he’s drafted.
For how big and tall Fitzpatrick is, he reminds many people of cornerback Darrelle Revis and Tyrann Mathieu. He enters the draft at 6 -1 and weighs in at 201 pounds. For how well Revis and Mathieu shut down top receivers, Fitzpatrick almost replicates them with the same way he plays the game.
Fitzpatrick is able to use his intelligence and instincts for routes developing and is able to give a limited amount of separation. Anytime he is involved in the deep part of the field he becomes a playmaker. Once the football is in the air, he locates it and adjusts himself to it in order to make a play. He makes it known to the opponents they have no chance in most of those situations.
He cherishes when a challenge is brought upon him in covering big tight ends and slot receivers. He is also an excellent special teams player as Fitzpatrick has great awareness and excellent techniques in how to adjust to when a play develops. He has been considered a leader on the Alabama defense for how well he sees everything on the field.
More from Jets Draft
- NY Jets: Analyzing the ways to upgrade the cornerback position
- NY Jets: Chris Simms says Zach Wilson is ‘clearly the No. 1 quarterback’
- NY Jets: Would a Deshaun Watson trade be a departure from Joe Douglas’ philosophy?
- NY Jets: 4 WRs the team has reportedly met with ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft
- NY Jets add a new franchise QB in 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft
For being a cornerback/safety he lacks the normal height and speed in what players are normally in his position. Before receivers had reached their potential speed he has a tendency to break his form. He needs to build up his hand strength in order to gain more interceptions in the NFL.
He is not as consistent when he plays off man coverage as he has a very slow mindset when he has to play in those kinds of assignments. Minkah tends to have his body twisted and exposed and when he delivers a hefty hit as it lands him in trouble with getting penalties called on him. When he is playing in tight areas, Fitzpatrick seems to get lost inside of what is happening and gets beat on many plays. He needs to embrace his abilities and use them at the right time.
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
For being a very versatile player, Fitzpatrick has the ability to handle duties as either a cornerback or safety. With all the skill sets Fitzpatrick has it makes him look like a player who will be able to be inserted into a starting lineup since he’s that talented. He will need to be put in the right organization with a base two gap of a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive scheme. He has some areas to fix but he will have an incredible career. He will make New Jersey proud in being a local native and being a top 10 pick.