Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick trending toward Hall of Fame pace after latest All-Pro
Minkah Fitzpatrick recently earned First-Team All-Pro honors for his efforts during the 2022 season. Here’s why the Steelers safety is on a Hall of Fame pace.
Most would agree that Minkah Fitzpatrick didn’t have his best NFL back in 2021. After two elite years in a row in which the Pittsburgh Steelers finished with one of the league’s top-ranked defenses, Minkah fell back down to earth a bit as he struggled early in the year and didn’t quite make the same amount of splash in the secondary we were used to seeing.
One year later, it’s very safe to say that there was never a reason to worry. In 2022, Fitzpatrick was a cut above the rest at his position. The former first-round pick and blue-chip prospect out of Alabama continued to hone in on his craft as he greatly improved as a run defender. In addition, Minkah found the ball as often as anyone this year as he tied for a league-leading 6 interceptions while disrupting 11 passes.
Unsurprisingly, this dominant performance led him to another personal milestone. On January 13th, Minkah Fitzpatrick was officially voted as a First-Team All-Pro player by the Associated Press.
This is the third time that Fitzpatrick has earned such honors in his first five seasons — putting him on pace with T.J. Watt when it comes to All-Pro honors. In fact, these two current Steelers are the only two players in Pittsburgh history to accomplish this feat in Pittsburgh history.
Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick is on the fast track to the Hall of Fame
Obviously, there’s still a lot more that he will need to accomplish, but Minkah Fitzpatrick is certainly on a Hall of Fame pace at this stage of his career. Following the 2020 season, he became the youngest defender to earn First-Team All-Pro honors twice. Now he continues down a legendary road of accomplishments.
Still well within the prime of his career after just turning 26 years old, it’s reasonable to think that this trend could continue. With how established Minkah is at this point, another three or four All-Pro honors aren’t out of the question if he can keep performing the way he has been.
Certainly, injuries could play a factor. While Fitzpatrick has been blessed with incredible health for most of his career so far, it’s never guaranteed to last, and one major injury could potentially get him off the Hall of Fame pace. But what we have seen from him has certainly been impressive.
Even Pittsburgh Steelers legend, Troy Polamalu, earned just one First-Team All-Pro honor in his first five seasons before eventually becoming a fist-ballot Hall of Famer. In five years, Minkah has recorded 19 interceptions and 5 defensive touchdowns, per ESPN Stats.
Every once in a while, a generational safety comes around. In the early 2000s, it was Polamalu in Ed Reed. In the 2010s, it was Earl Thomas and Eric Berry. Now it looks like Minkah Fitzpatrick could be next in line for a legendary pace. It’s going to be fun to watch his career unfold.