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Elway and the Broncos should trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick

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If the Miami Dolphins are open to dealing the 2018 11th overall pick John Elway needs to be on the phone.

NFL: Preseason-Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins
If Fitzpatrick wants out of South Beach, Elway needs to get him to Denver.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Last night ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Minkah Fitzpatrick has been granted permission to seek a trade by the Miami Dolphins.

Nine times out of ten I’m the guy pouring water on these kind of fever dream fantasies, but I’m here to tell you: Elway needs to kick the tires here. Heck, he may want to wear some combat boots to do so.

Fitzpatrick was drafted 11th overall last year out of Alabama and immediately looked like a future All Pro. Just 22, he offers a tantalizing combination of range, intangibles, versatility, and physicality to step in and immediately upgrade the Broncos’ defense.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. Here are just a few things that were coming out about Fitzpatrick when he was an NFL draft prospect all of one year ago.

NFL draft profile — No. 13: Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick | Pro Football Weekly

“Call him whatever [position] you want, he can do everything. I always look at the guys that Nick [Saban] and Kirby [Smart] when he was there … how did they use the players they had on defense? Did they hide their deficiencies or highlight their skills and versatility? In [Fitzpatrick’s] case, I’d definitely say the latter.” — AFC national scout

Player Profile: Minkah Fitzpatrick could make Colts Secondary Scary - Stampede Blue

Whoever selects Minkah Fitzpatrick will get a player who can play all over the field in the secondary. He is fast enough and rangy enough to cover the deep middle of the field as a safety, he is twitchy enough to make plays in shorter zones, and is could very easily move to the outside and play corner in the NFL. This flexibility isn’t just a function of his physical gifts either, he is a smart football player who learns quickly and can be prepared to play multiple roles in the same set of downs or on the same drive.

2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: DB Minkah Fitzpatrick - Niners Nation

Unlike most DBs, you’ll rarely ever see him shying away from taking on a block, much less making a tackle. Given where he plays and the way he plays, it’s easy to confuse Fitzpatrick for a linebacker. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say he’s a linebacker in the body of a corner. Because of his physicality, Alabama loved using him to erase opposing TEs when they were in 6 DB sets, and whatever NFL team gets him will probably end up doing the same thing.

Minkah Fitzpatrick NFL draft profile

Fitzpatrick’s size and skill set will allow him to line up anywhere in the defensive backfield and be highly effective. His best fit is probably at free safety, but as was the case with Ramsey, NFL teams will likely be enticed by his size and length and try him at corner. Wherever he plays, Fitzpatrick is sure to be a big-time playmaker for a long time.

NFL Draft & Combine Profile - Minkah Fitzpatrick | NFL.com

Fitzpatrick turns up the intensity level as high as it will go and and rips off the knob until the game is over. Fitzpatrick has experience as a slot cornerback, but will likely be targeted as a “do-everything” safety who can be deployed as a sub-package linebacker, a blitzer or in the slot against big receivers and move tight ends. Fitzpatrick has consistently shined since his freshman season on Alabama defenses that have been loaded with NFL talent. His versatility, football character and desire to succeed should make him an early starter.

It may seem crazy that the Dolphins are willing to part with such a young core player, but reports suggest Miami’s owner Stephen Ross never wanted the defensive back. Combine that with Fitzpatrick’s dissatisfaction with the team’s current trajectory and it makes sense for them to try and trade him off for draft capital.

Because Fitzpatrick was drafted last year, his cap hit will be insanely affordable. Over the next three seasons he would count for less than $6 million against the cap. It would cost Since he was a first round pick, the Broncos would have a fifth-year option on the deal after 2021.

Last night it sounded as if Miami wouldn’t part with Fitzpatrick for less than a first round pick. However, late last night KOA’s Benjamin Allbright reported this:

Simply put, Elway needs to pick up the phone.

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Should Elway trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick?

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