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Prospect Profile: Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Safety | Alabama | Junior

Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 201 pounds

College Stats

2017: 60 tackles (38 solo), 8.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 8 pass breakups, one interception, one forced fumble in 13 games; team captain; won Bednarik and Thorpe awards, becoming the second Crimson Tide player to win either and just the third player in NCAA history to win both awards in the same season (Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Woodson and Cardinals All-Pro Patrick Peterson); unanimous All-American by multiple outlets; All-SEC First-Team selection by the Associated Press and league's coaches

Career: 171 tackles (109 solo), 16 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 26 pass breakups, nine interceptions (186 return yards and school-record four touchdowns after interceptions); two forced fumbles in 42 games; ranked seventh in FBS with six interceptions in 2016; recorded three interceptions against Arkansas, including one he returned 100 yards for a touchdown in 2016; First-Team All-American by multiple outlets and First-Team All-SEC selection as a sophomore; Freshman All-SEC Team in 2015   

Combine Results

40-yard dash: 4.46 seconds
Bench press: 14 reps of 225 pounds
Broad jump: 10 feet, 1 inch
Vertical jump: 33 inches
3-cone drill: Did not participate
20-yard shuttle: Did not participate

Profile

Summary: Fitzpatrick starred as a cornerback at St. Peter's Prep in his home state of New Jersey, garnering selection to the 2015* Parade* All-America team and invitations to the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game and Nike's 2014 "The Opening," before enrolling at Alabama.

In his freshman season, Fitzpatrick started 10 games at the "star" position (nickel corner) in the Crimson Tide defense. He excelled in that role until Alabama needed him to fill in at safety for injured Eddie Jackson (a fourth-round pick by the Bears in 2017). Fitzpatrick played safety and nickel corner as a junior, helping Alabama win the College Football Playoff national title.

He was asked about his time as the nickel corner during an interview with reporters at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

"I came in as a corner, so I was used to covering people 1-on-1," Fitzpatrick said. "Halfway through camp, Coach [Nick] Saban came to me asking if I wanted to play slot corner and learn how to play it. 

"I said, 'Sure,' and kind of took on that role," Fitzpatrick said. "I feel comfortable with it because I practice it a lot. I worked on it all the time. It's a different type of position. It's a position that's kind of a combination of corner and safety. You can make calls like a safety. You can rush or fill the holes, working the gaps like a safety. Then you get to cover man-to-man or on pass downs like you need to like a corner. I like playing both corner and safety, so I think slot corner is an optimal position."

View images of Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Stacking up: NFL Media analysts Mike Mayock and Bucky Brooks ranked Fitzpatrick as his top safety before and after the combine.

Brooks wrote that Fitzpatrick is "a Swiss Army knife in the back end with the capacity to play safety, corner or nickel in any defensive scheme."

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah has Fitzpatrick ranked sixth overall in his list of the Top 50 prospects, also crediting the success Fitzpatrick has had at multiple positions for strong Crimson Tide teams.

Jeremiah believes Fitzpatrick is at his best when he is "allowed to float and keep his eyes on the quarterback. He has outstanding instincts, anticipation and ball skills. In man coverage, he has the size and speed to match up with both the big/physical pass-catchers as well as the smaller/quicker" receivers.

Who is the toughest?:Fitzpatrick was asked which receiver gave him the toughest challenge and said teammate Calvin Ridley.

"Outside my team, [Texas A&M's] Christian Kirk was another receiver that was there," Fitzpatrick said. "Both are great receivers. I'd play with Calvin every day, and we'd have battles every single day in practice when I wasn't at safety, and it made both of us better."

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