ESPN has released the latest findings from their poll of nearly 60 executives, coaches, scouts and players, and unveiled their safety rankings on Friday.
Pittsburgh fans will like the results, as Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick earned the top spot in the rankings.
“Most complete safety in the game,” an anonymous league executive told ESPN. “Elite instincts, athleticism, processor, field vision, positional flexibility, production in deep part of the field, [and] can cover man-to-man. Can do it all.”
Acquired from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a first-round pick in 2019, Fitzpatrick immediately lifted Pittsburgh’s defense from serviceable to elite.
Fitzpatrick has recorded 79 total tackles and three fumble recoveries to go along with nine interceptions since arriving in Pittsburgh. He has also scored three defensive touchdowns. He’s been an All-Pro selection in each of his two season with the Steelers.
“It’s his instincts, and he’s finally comfortable — they are playing him in the right spot,” an NFC coach told ESPN. “He studies, he knows first and second reads, and his return ability is elite.”
Fitzpatrick is the highest ranked Steelers in the ESPN poll. Outside linebacker T.J. Watt was named the second-best edge rusher, while Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt were ranked the No. 4 and 8 interior defensive lineman, respectively.