PITTSBURGH, PA — The Pittsburgh Steelers objectively have one of the best defenses in the league. With All-Pros, Super Bowl champions, and future Hall of Famers at all three levels, Pittsburgh has the potential to be special on that side of the ball in 2023.
And following the latest poll of NFL personnel, one Steeler just received the highest honor possible at his position… Minkah Fitzpatrick.
ESPN’s Jeremey Fowler continues to go through his annual positional rankings, as voted on by players, coaches, and evaluators in the NFL. Today he released his safety rankings with Steelers All-Pro Minkah Fitzpatrick coming out on top.
“Fitzpatrick is back on top after perhaps his most dominant season as a pro, once again rewarding Pittsburgh for the stellar trade it made with Miami four years ago. His 28.2% ball hawk rate led the NFL, with 11 pass breakups and six interceptions on 39 targets as the nearest defender. Fitzpatrick’s ball-tracking skills are so good that he can intercept a pass and sell hot dogs at Gate B of Acrisure Stadium on the same play.” – Jeremey Fowler
A special defender when he’s roaming the post, Fitzpatrick defines the modern NFL safety. With his ability to play top-down, he demonstrates exceptional ball skills and elite football intelligence at any alignment, something NFL personnel seemingly agrees with:
“Best in the game, and it’s not close,” an NFL personnel director told Fowler. “You have to keep him moving because if he’s stationary, coordinators can plan for him, but every single play, there’s that feeling of, where is he going to be? Post, slot, nickel, box. He’s capable, willing, and able to handle all of that. He’s brilliant, works, studies, loves the game.”
The best part about this ranking for Steelers fans is that Minkah is widely viewed as the best safety in the NFL by the league and media alike, yet he’s only 26 years old, and under contract through 2026, where he will still be in his late 20s.
I expect no slowing down from Fitzpatrick, and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the same position next summer.