Pittsburgh Steelers safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick is without a doubt one of the best players on the Steelers’ entire roster, and one of the best players in the entire NFL. Now, he joins a new list: The Top 25 NFL Players 25 and Under. The list, compiled from 11 staff members from The 33rd Team, holds some of the top young talents from across the league. Fitzpatrick was voted #14 out of 25 players. He was rated as high as #11 by at least one staff member and as low as #20.
To further categorize the players, the staff members separated the list into three tiers:
- Tier 1 – “The Brightest Young Stars” including spots 1-8.
- Tier 2 – “Game-Changing Youngsters” including spots 9-16. This is the tier Fitzpatrick falls into.
- Tier 3 – “Best of the Rest” including spots 17-25.
Four of the first-tier players are quarterbacks, and should not come as a surprise. In today’s high-powered and high-scoring league, quarterbacks are relied on more than ever. The rest of the ratings consist of a mix of offensive and defensive players, six of those being defensive backs, but no other quarterbacks are mentioned.
Fitzpatrick joins the likes of other NFL defensive superstars: Nick Bosa, Micah Parsons, Jaire Alexander, and Fred Warner, to name a few. Parsons and Alexander are the only defensive players inside tier 1.
Is Fitzpatrick’s rating too modest? I think it’s accurate. Let’s take a look at the full ratings, below:
Since coming to Pittsburgh via trade in 2019 with the Miami Dolphins, Fitzpatrick has made a tremendous impact and has solidified himself as a true playmaker in the Steelers secondary. The former 11th overall pick has racked up 333 total tackles in his career, including his career-high 124 last season. He’s also defended 34 passes and 13 interceptions in his five years in the NFL and holds two First-Team AP All-Pro selections during his time with the Steelers.
Fitzpatrick’s Development with the Steelers
Winning has been a recipe for Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin and the rest of the organization. While recent bias shows a lack of playoff success, Coach Tomlin has the longest streak of consecutive non-losing seasons in league history at 15, and Fitzpatrick has been a great addition to the defense over the last three seasons.
“The thing I appreciate the most about this organization is its commitment to winning,” says Fitzpatrick.
“I think I’m a whole lot more aware of the player that I am. I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses and I think at that time [with the Dolphins] I didn’t even play the position I got traded for until I got to Pittsburgh. I really found a good routine in my study and in my tape and with the help of Coach T, and all those other guys… I know who I am as a player,” says Fitzpatrick in an interview with Mike Prisuta of the Steelers Radio Network.
There is Still Room to Improve on the Steelers
I think Fitzpatrick’s potential is through the roof, but will need to become an absolute force on defense to work his way up on the list. He will need to double his interceptions and record double-digit passes defended on a consistent basis. With his record-breaking contract (four years, $73.6 million), all eyes will be on him to produce.
— Minkah Fitzpatrick (@minkfitz_21) June 15, 2022
Do you think Fitzpatrick is worthy of #14 on the list? Do you think he should be ranked higher? Let us know in the comments, below!