When CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco released his annual list of the top 100 players in the NFL on Wednesday, fans quickly noticed one big name was missing.
Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick — a first-team All-Pro selection in 2019 — was surprisingly left off the list, which threw fans into a frenzy on social media.
Prisco doubled down on his decision to leave Fitzpatrick off on CBS Sports HQ yesterday, forcing the Pro Bowler to respond.
No one agrees w you. But i appreciate the fuel https://t.co/Bdn0JZfWE1— Minkah Fitzpatrick (@minkfitz_21) May 22, 2020
Prisco cited Fitzpatrick’s performance in the team’s October 13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers — a game the Steelers won — as his reasoning for the snub. Fitzpatrick intercepted four passes and recovered a fumble over the next three games, all victories.
Fitzpatrick was not the only one irked by his abscess from the list, as fans and Steelers players also expressed their displeasure, including defensive end Cam Heyward.
So he clarified what Minkah did by if Rivers could do this than it he’s not an elite safety. And since when do we judge players off 3 games??? That’s baffling. Check our that Indy game, the 49ers game. And then the stats after we brought Minkah in are not just coincidental.— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) May 21, 2020
Fitzpatrick made an immediately impact on a Steelers defense that was in desperate need of a playmaker when he came over from the Miami Dolphins.
Prior to Fitzpatrick, the Steelers were allowing 320 passing yards per game in 2019. After adding him, they allowed just 176.7 passing yards a game.
The Steelers also led the league with 38 takeaways last seasons. Fitzpatrick alone forced ten.
Fitzpatrick was not the only prominent Steeler to be left off the list, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was also not included. Still, Roethlisberger is coming off a season-ending injury, while Fitzpatrick was recognized as one of the league’s best safeties.
Four Steelers did find themselves among the league’s top 100 players. Outside linebacker T.J. Watt was the highest rated Steeler coming in at No. 16.
Other notable Steelers on the list include Heyward at No. 33, outside linebacker Bud Dupree at No. 60 and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster coming in at No. 84.