Minkah Fitzpatrick was something of a godsend for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season. A playmaker, catalyst of a defense that produced more turnovers than any other team in football. And yet, Kevin Colbert believes Fitzpatrick could take his game to another level. He spoke about the decision to make the trade and Fitzpatrick’s future with Jason La Canfora on 105.7 The Fan.
“Going back to when Minkah was coming out of [Alabama], I can’t remember what pick we were but we knew we weren’t going to get him,” Colbert said. “Across the board, we had five or six first round grades on him. When he became available, we just measured that against what we could be potentially trading away. You’re early in the fall and trying to guess what might be there. But we felt comfortable trying to predict where we might finish, what might be available.”
Pittsburgh picked 28th in the 2018 draft and Fitzpatrick was gone by #11 to Miami. The Steelers opted for another safety, taking Terrell Edmunds, and have now paired the two together. 2020 was the first draft Pittsburgh didn’t have a first round pick since 1967 but given Fitzpatrick’s production, five interceptions, it was well worth the break from precedent.
“Anytime we did those scenarios, we said this is a very capable player that still has four years left on his deal. It wasn’t hard once we got through it. Of course he did turn out to be a pretty good player last year. I don’t know if we’ve seen the best of him yet.”
Fitzpatrick was thrown into the fire mid-way through 2019. Now, he’ll have a chance to breath, go through his first training camp with the organization, and at 23 years old, is still growing mentally. The organization has stated their goal is to move Fitzpatrick around more in the upcoming season so QBs can’t avoid targeting him. Over the final eight weeks last season, he saw just two passes thrown his way.
Check out the entire interview in the tweet below.
ICYMI: Kevin Colbert joined @IA1057TheFan with @JasonLaCanfora and @KenWeinmanSport and is bullish on Ben Roethlisberger entering 2020. Ben underwent surgery on his right elbow in September and Colbert believes that he will start the season fully healthy. https://t.co/EeedRV8Apo
— 105.7 The Fan (@1057TheFan) April 30, 2020