In a rare move for the Steelers, they traded next year’s #1 draft pick for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Miami Dolphins and Steelers came to an agreement with some other draft round exchanges as indicated in the banner.
When he was selected by the Dolphins last year, their general manager Chris Grier confirmed, “He was a targeted player. Smart. Loves football. Unique. Creates turnovers. We felt we could not pass on him.”
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said, “We are very excited to add Minkah to our defense. We had him rated very high during the 2018 NFL Draft process and we thought that he could be an impact player in this league.”
NFL analyst at the time of the draft, Mike Maycock, rated Fitzpatrick the top safety in the draft and noted, “In today’s NFL, which is a matchup league, he’s the kind of chess piece that defensive coordinators love. He can drop down and cover the slot. He can line up at free safety with great range. You can try and figure out how you want to use this kid on almost a week-to-week basis.”
The Dolphins made Fitzpatrick available because he told them a few weeks ago he wanted to play either nickel cornerback or boundary cornerback. He didn’t want to play either of the safety positions.
They tried to convince Fitzpatrick his greatest asset was being able to move from one spot to another to another from game to game, but he didn’t agree. Now he is in Pittsburgh.
Fitzpatrick played in 18 games with 13 starts for the Dolphins over the past two seasons (2018-19). He totaled 90 tackles (57 solo), two interceptions, nine passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Not since 1967 have the Steelers traded a first round pick.