Alabama in the Pros

Minkah Fitzpatrick learning three different positions for Miami Dolphins

Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

His ability to quickly adjust that he possessed at Alabama has followed him to the National Football League, as Minkah Fitzpatrick looks to do everything he can to make the Miami Dolphins a formidable team in his rookie season. After being selected 11th overall in this year’s draft, Fitzpatrick is working three different positions for an opportunity to start in the fall. 

According to an interview he had Friday on NFL Network’s Total Access, Fitzpatrick said the team is featuring him at strong safety, free safety and in nickel.

While many draft analysts were reluctant to pull the trigger on him – due to not seeing him master a specific position – the two-time All-American selection (2016, 2017) said “he’s comfortable just being on the field.” 

“I’m not a specific position, I’m just a football player,” Fitzpatrick said. “Where ever I am needed at that’s where I am going to be comfortable at.” 

Despite never forming into a shutdown, island cornerback at Alabama, Fitzpatrick credits head coach Nick Saban and his staff for preparing him in multiple roles. Overall, the NFL game is about versatility and the more spots one is able to excel in; the more marketable they become. 

“Coach Saban and his staff at Alabama does a great job preparing you for the next level and preparing you for the challenges that may come,” Fitzpatrick said. “Whether it’s the playbook or just the way he runs his system, it’s ran like an NFL-caliber program. It’s definitely helping me right now because how the Dolphins run their system is similar to how Coach Saban run his.” 

One similarity Fitzpatrick brings from Saban to the Dolphins is a winning mindset. 

He was an integral piece for two national title teams in 2016 and 2017, including last season that saw him total 60 tackles (eight for loss), eight pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and one interception.

Fitzpatrick was twice named first team All-SEC (2016-17) and won Jim Thorpe (nation’s top defensive back) and Chuck Bednarik (nation’s top defensive player) awards. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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