DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama*

6’0″ – 204 lbs. – 4.46

Was a major contributor for the Tide over the past three seasons, foregoing his senior season in order to declare for the draft. Has excellent size and length which should allow him to play either cornerback or safety. With Alabama, played all over the defense: as a cornerback, as a safety, as a “star” (replacing the strongside linebacker in nickel packages), and as a “money” (replacing the middle linebacker in dime packages). This past season, took a lot of snaps in one of the latter two spots, often lining up as more of a linebacker or in coverage on an opposing slot receiver; versatility is a major plus, having also been responsible for making adjustments in the secondary. Fast, energetic defensive back who flies around the field and possesses the athletic gifts to handle virtually any conceivable responsibility on the field. Despite his height and long legs, has a controlled backpedal with good balance and quick feet. Uses his length well to press opposing receivers at the line of scrimmage and disrupt their releases. Best when he’s allowed to use his explosiveness to plant and drive on a ball that’s been thrown in front of him, but also has the speed to turn and run down the field with opposing receivers and running backs in man coverage. Patiently makes his reads, picking up opposing running backs on delayed releases into the backfield when working in zone coverage. Has plus ball skills to make plays on the ball or intercept passes, using his length well; also dangerous with the ball in his hands, having scored four touchdowns on intercepted passes over the course of his career. Responsibilities as a typical boundary cornerback or high safety were a little bit limited this season; most of his overage was in the slot, which leaves a little bit of his projection to the imagination. Can play a little bit narrow and upright when working in zone coverage. Faster and more fluid than quick-twitch. Exhibits some ability to play off of blocks, with a willingness to come up and defend the run, although he is not a forceful or particularly reliable tackler. Also an accomplished blitzer who closes quickly and was able to generate a lot of pressure by virtue of his varied alignments. A blue-chip prospect with the size, length, athleticism, intelligence, versatility, and pedigree to be one of the first players selected this year.

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