FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The newest player to the Miami Dolphins roster, first round draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick, may be one of the most talented guys in the NFL Draft but his story still came with some adversity which he says made him a better player while at Alabama.
In his white suit, first round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick certainly looked ready for his South Florida debut. Tailored to the tee right down to the championship hardware he showed off via a video conference call with the media.
“I’ve got to fill the rest of them. I got to fill the rest of them,” he said laughing while showing off his rings.
Filling up his hands with Super Bowl rings would be a welcome site for Miami, a city starving for a football winner, but this marriage nearly didn’t happen.
When Minkah was in high school, Hurricane Irene destroyed his family’s home.
“It did affect my ability to play sometimes. At one time I told my family I was going to quit and just work and not go to (the) school I was going to because it was a private school, so my family had to pay. So, it did affect my mindset a little bit; but after a while it kind of reverted my mindset onto something else and it made me work harder rather than just giving up,” he explained.
At the Dolphins draft party at Hard Rock Stadium the announcement came with some mixed reaction by fans. But one of his newest teammates says he is a welcomed addition in the defensive backfield.
“It’s great to have him it’s a good pick. He’s a ball hawk. A really aggressive player,” said cornerback Bobby McCain. “Like I said we’re happy to have him in the room. He’s part of our family. He’s part of our brotherhood.”
Fitzpatrick swiped six interceptions in 2016 but saw that production drop to just one in 2017. Not because of a lack of effort but because he was so talented, Nick Saban had him playing multiple positions. An ability that factored into the dolphins selection.
“He’s like a Swiss army knife. He does a lot of things really good,” said Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier. “It’s his football intelligence, his love for football and he’s been a productive player from the minute he stepped on campus at arguably one of the best programs in college football.”
“My dream wasn’t to just make it to the NFL; it’s to be a great player in the NFL. It’s just the beginning. Like I said, I’m going to take that same mindset I had at Alabama and apply it to the Miami Dolphins organization,” said Fitzpatrick.