As the NFL offseason presses on in hopes teams can enter training camp next month, one talking point from various outlets will be ranking players going into the 2020 season. In the latest rankings from CBS Sports HQ, courtesy of Patrik Walker, the Steelers land a player in the top three in each of the defensive secondary positions.
First off, when it comes to safeties, Minkah Fitzpatrick was ranked second going into the 2020 season.
Top 10 Safeties in the NFL— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 23, 2020
(According to @VoiceOfTheStar)
1. Tyrann Mathieu
2. Minkah Fitzpatrick
3. Jamal Adams
4. Harrison Smith
5. Anthony Harris
6. Justin Simmons
7. Devin McCourty
8. Derwin James
9. Kevin Byard
10. Earl Thomas pic.twitter.com/4CNHhRyPUD
Coming off an All-Pro season, Fitzpatrick was ranked only behind Tyrann Mathieu who was a second-team All-Pro at safety and first-team All-Pro in the general defensive back position. Fellow All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, who has recently requested a trade for the New York Jets, placed third just behind Fitzpatrick.
Entering his first full season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Fitzpatrick will look to build off of his five interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and two defensive touchdowns in 2019. At only 23 years old, Fitzpatrick is still on the rise in his NFL career and could easily earn the title of top safety in the NFL in 2020.
As for the cornerback position, Joe Haden was ranked third.
Top 10 Cornerbacks in the NFL— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 23, 2020
(According to @VoiceOfTheStar)
1. Stephon Gilmore
2. Marcus Peters
3. Joe Haden
4. Jalen Ramsey
5. Patrick Peterson
6. Byron Jones
7. Tre’Davious White
8. Xavien Howard
9. Chris Harris Jr.
10. Marshon Lattimore pic.twitter.com/YGgDJ40S2P
In his 10th season in the NFL, Joe Haden returned to the Pro Bowl for the first time in five seasons. Also logging five interceptions as well as a fumble recovery, Haden came on strong late in the 2019 season as he developed more confidence in the newly acquired Minkah Fitzpatrick as the season pressed on.
Haden ranked only behind reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore of the New England Patriots and Marcus Peters of the Baltimore Ravens. Haden ranked ahead of 2019 All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White of the Buffalo Bills by four spots. Selected to the Pro Bowl as an alternate in 2019, Haden is hoping to keep up his production at 31 years of age.
Surprising omissions from the cornerback list was 2019 second team All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and first team All-Pro defensive back Marlon Humphrey.
Of course, all of these lists are merely speculation as on-field performance will ultimately determine who has the most successful 2020 season. But for now, being a discussion point to help fans through the early summer months as we anticipate the upcoming season will help us to get our football fix.
So what do you think? Are the Steelers players ranked accurately? What changes would you make to these two lists? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.