Miami Dolphins: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

Strengths: Blitzing, big-play capability, awareness, leadership.

Weaknesses: Outside man coverage.

Most modern NFL offensive tactics are designed to isolate and attack the nickelback.

Teams place speedsters like Tyreek Hill and big,nike nfl jerseys cheap china  athletic Rob Gronkowski types in the slot specifically so they can create mismatches against the nickelback. They build formations and personnel groupings to purposely place the nickelback in a bind.

The RPO is the NFL’s darling strategy right now—your know-it-all friends like to explain the play’s design; your know-even-more friends like to say that it’s all just play action with a fancy name—because the Eagles used run-pass options to win the Super Bowl. In its most basic form, the RPO attacks the nickelback by forcing him to guess run or pass and then does the opposite.

Nickelback has been a starting position in the NFL for years and is one of the most critical positions on the field. But because teams use the same depth charts that they have mimeographed since the 1970s, nickelbacks are still thought of as role players or niche fillers. That outdated thinking even extends to the draft, where great nickel defenders like china nike nfl jerseys cheap Minkah Fitzpatrick are still met with, Gosh, I’m just not sure if he is a safety or a cornerback.

Fitzpatrick is the best nickelback prospect in NFL history. (Tyrann Mathieu had character concerns and was also used on offense, confusing his draft profile.) He’s exactly the defender teams need to counter the RPO and mix-and-match tactics in the slot, because his ability to attack the backfield will make offenses account for him, cheap nfl nike jerseys from china rather than vice-versa. He also has excellent play-recognition skills and the quickness to regroup after play-fakes. While no one human can cover both Tyreek and Gronk in the slot, Fitzpatrick has the size and speed to move outside or to deep safety so a quicker defender can slide to the nickel. Fitzpatrick never has to leave the field on defense.

Fitzpatrick is a cross between the Honey Badger and Malcolm Jenkins. He’s the vanguard of a new type of defender that the NFL needs more of. He should have been drafted higher. The Dolphins, despite ostensibly being strong at “safety,”  will be happy he fell to them.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

That’s right: The Dolphins did something right. We’re as shocked as you are.

Grade: A