If you’re tired of hearing about how Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is one of the best young players under 25 in the NFL right now, then don’t worry, you don’t have to wait too long for it to stop. The fourth-year veteran is going to turn 25 in November, so the 2021 season will be the final year he qualifies.
But CBS Sports eked out one more list on which to include him, on Thursday publishing an ‘All Under 25 Defensive Team’, which is basically an All-Pro roster consisting only of players who are under the age of 25.
Fitzpatrick was part of an AFC North duo at safety, with the other being Cincinnati Bengals standout Jessie Bates III, part of the same draft class in 2018 (as was, of course, Pittsburgh’s other starting safety, Terrell Edmunds, their first-round draft pick. Tyler Sullivan writes on the two-time All-Pro:
I had Fitzpatrick as the No. 3 ranked safety in the entire NFL in a piece written earlier this offseason, so he’s naturally on this list as well. While he was always a great safety, he was unleashed following his trade to Pittsburgh. He’s earned back-to-back All-Pro nods and has become a dangerous piece in the Steelers secondary. During his first full season in Pittsburgh last year, he totaled four interceptions through 16 games played (all starts) and a career-high 11 pass breakups. It was a coin flip if opposing quarterbacks were going to be able to complete a pass when throwing into his area as he notched a 50% completion percentage in 2020 with a 65.7 passer rating. That’s not just great for his age, but for any safety in the league.
While he is the only Steeler on the first-team list, the reality is that Pittsburgh is only projected to have three starters who enter the 2021 season under the age of 25, minus the nickel position, and even that could be pushing it with James Pierre, who turns 25 on September 16. The other two are Alex Highsmith and Devin Bush, the latter of whom was included on the second-team unit.
Bush, Pittsburgh’s 2019 first-round pick, missed all but four and a half games last season after suffering a torn ACL, but he was a borderline Pro Bowler during his rookie season, recording more than 100 tackles with six takeaways.
Devin White, Roquan Smith, and Fred Warner were chosen as the first-team linebackers. Bush was joined on the second team by Tremaine Edmunds and Kenneth Murray. Edmunds, of course, is the youngest brother of Terrell and Trey, both in Pittsburgh.
Bush, meanwhile, is tweeting about the average number of spiders a human will swallow during their sleep over a lifetime, and talking on the phone with BroGod. And, of course, rehabbing from that torn ACL in preparation for a Pro Bowl year in 2021.