AC In The AM: Defense Gets Big-Time Playmaker

Some initial thoughts on the selection of Alabama defender Minkah Fitzpatrick:

• I say defender for a reason. He can play so many roles. Anywhere in the defensive backfield. Cover the tight end? You bet he can.

Bottom Lin*e:* The Dolphins' defense just got better, maybe a whole lot better.

• They give out the Chuck Bednarik Award each year to the best defender in college football. Last year they gave it to Fitzpatrick. What else do we really need to know?

• You get that type of player, with those types of credentials, at No. 11 and how can you not term it a steal?

How does he fit in? That's going to be the fun part. With a player this versatile, with this many impressive skills, you can do so many things.

Did I mention he can cover the tight end? Guess it was worth repeating.

Listen to Nick Saban on Minkah: "He's phenomenal. He does it every day." Those aren't words Saban says very often – about ANY player.

• I know Adam Gase is close with Nick Saban. I'm sure he got the lowdown. I'm sure Gase knows exactly the player he's getting. That's important.

• All the intangibles are off the charts with this young man. He is a leader. He plays with passion. He is charitable with his time. Can he run? Went 100 yards once in college on an interception return. In fact, he returned two his freshman year for touchdowns and finished his college career with four, a team record.

• You can talk all you want about needing a linebacker or a defensive tackle and I'm sure both were under strong consideration in the first round. But what this defense needed most was a playmaker, someone who can make a difference deep into the fourth quarter. Fitzpatrick has created a resume that shouts he is that person.

• As for Fitzpatrick, you could see the happiness in his eyes. You could hear it in his words. "I'm blessed," he said. "Miami is a great place to be."

• And Fitzpatrick is indeed a great addition. For this team. For this defense. For this locker room. He checks every box, one of those rare finds that, as General Manager Chris Grier put it, "we could not pass up."

• On to Round Two.

The Miami Dolphins picked DB Minkah Fitzpatrick with the 11th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

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