The Pittsburgh Steelers recently traded for Dolphins defensive back, Minkah Fitzpatrick. Here’s why he is a big upgrade over Sean Davis at free safety.
The Steelers were the surprise team to ultimately seal the deal for Minkah Fitzpatrick. While Pittsburgh admittedly liked him coming out of Alabama in 2018, Sean Davis’s health no doubt played a role in Kevin Colbert executing this deal.
Though many fans are upset at the idea of spending so much draft capital to upgrade from Sean Davis to Minkah Fitzpatrick, that difference in the level of play we could see is significant.
The Steelers spend their second-round draft choice in 2016 on Maryland defensive back, Sean Davis. Like Fitzpatrick, Davis was a versatile secondary player in college who played cornerback as well as safety.
Davis struggled in his first two seasons in the league, as Pittsburgh moved him from slot cornerback to strong safety. He eventually found a home at free safety.
Though his third season was his best to date, Davis is still very underwhelming as a player. Despite not giving up a lot of massive catches down the field, his play leaves a lot to be desired.
Davis rarely makes big plays on defense. Despite seeing more defensive snaps than any player on the Steelers last season (979), Davis managed just one interception. He now has just one pick in his last 19 NFL games. He also didn’t take part in forcing or recovering a single fumble last year.
On the other hand, we saw a very promising rookie season from Minkah Fitzpatrick. Though he is currently on the worst team in football, Minkah’s skill set is undeniable. He had 2 interceptions in 11 starts as a rookie, and in his first two games of 2019, he has forced and recovered a fumble.
I really wasn’t on board with the idea of Pittsburgh potentially paying good money to keep a player like Sean Davis. Players like Davis who are just so-so aren’t very hard to find, and I was fearful that the Steelers would get desperate and pay him this offseason.
It’s still very early, and he hasn’t even played a snap in a Steelers uniform yet, but Minkah Fitzpatrick is a more talented football player than Davis. I fully expect him to be a better free safety for the Steelers than Sean Davis has been as early as this season.