Minkah Fitzpatrick Declares for 2018 NFL Draft After 3 Seasons at Alabama

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2018

FILE- In this Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, file photo, Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) warms up before the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game against Clemson in New Orleans. Georgia's quarterback Jake Fromm has shown the poise of a veteran all season, but Saban’s defenses have been known to fluster even experienced quarterbacks and Fitzpatrick is an extension of Saban on the field.  (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick has decided to enter the 2018 NFL draft, head coach Nick Saban confirmed Thursday, per Matt Zenitz of AL.com.

Fitzpatrick, a junior, will hire an agent and forgo his final year of eligibility. He recorded 60 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and an interception in 2017 on his way to being named a unanimous All-American.

A safety early in his career at Alabama, Fitzpatrick made the transition to the cornerback spot this past season. His versatility makes him one of the top overall prospects in this entire class.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has Fitzpatrick ranked as the second-best player in the 2018 class.

"I don't see any flaws in the guy," an NFL scout told B/R's Michael Weinreb. "He's probably a top-10 guy. He can play all the positions, he's aggressive, he's a student of the game and he's already acting like a professional athlete."

Listed at 6'1" and 201 pounds, Fitzpatrick has the size and speed combination to play either safety or cornerback at the next level. He'll likely be drafted as a free safety at first, with the possibility of playing some corner down the road.

Coaches and teammates alike have lauded Fitzpatrick's work ethic, which they say rivals anyone they've ever seen at Alabama. He's known to be a no-nonsense sort who does not get himself involved in extracurriculars that could be a distraction.

"I just don't like clutter," Fitzpatrick told Weinreb. "I like seeing the clear image of things. Even dealing with people. I don't mind being around a whole bunch of people, but when there's a whole bunch of nonsense going on around me, I need to see a sense of purpose around something. I don't want to be somewhere and not getting anything done."

There was nothing left for him to prove at Alabama, so it makes perfect sense to see Fitzpatrick declare for the draft just three days after helping the Crimson Tide win a national championship vs. Georgia.


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