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The Steelers are the home for the NFL’s best safety, according to ESPN

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense is helped in large part by the league’s best safety.

Washington Football Team v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

As if you didn’t know this, but the Pittsburgh Steelers have a really good safety on their roster. When the Steelers sent a first round pick to the Miami Dolphins for Minkah Fitzpatrick, it seemed like a steep price to pay.

Maybe even too steep of a price.

Then he stepped on the field and started making plays. Suddenly, the price for Fitzpatrick seemed like a steal for the Steelers. Either way, the global Steelers fan base knows all too well what they have in Minkah Fitzpatrick, but other NFL entities are taking note as well.

As ESPN continues to break down the Top 10 at every position, they ranked Fitzpatrick second to no one. Check out what they had to say about the former Alabama defensive back:

1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Steelers

Highest ranking: 1 | Lowest ranking: 7

Age: 24 | Last year’s ranking: 3

Acquiring Fitzpatrick in a 2019 deal with Miami was a defining move of the Mike Tomlin-Kevin Colbert era in Pittsburgh. Fitzpatrick has embodied the ball-hawking safety in the AFC North, with nine interceptions and 20 pass deflections in 30 games with the storied franchise.

“Most complete safety in the game,” a high-ranking NFL official said. “Elite instincts, athleticism, processor, field vision, positional flexibility, production in deep part of the field, [and] can cover man-to-man. Can do it all.”

Fitzpatrick posted a league-best 45.5% completion percentage allowed when the nearest defender last season, along with a 60.2 passer rating. His 33.3% ball hawk rate — an NFL Next Gen Stats measurement for percentage of targets in which the nearest defender made a play on the football — ranked third leaguewide.

Fitzpatrick turns into a running back with the ball too, producing 207 return yards off his nine picks in Pittsburgh.

“It’s his instincts, and he’s finally comfortable — they are playing him in the right spot,” an NFC coach said. “He studies, he knows first and second reads, and his return ability is elite.”

This is one of those situations where ESPN is preaching to the choir. Steelers fans know all too well how good Fitzpatrick is, and will continue to be. They see it every time he dons the black and gold and steps in between the white lines.

However, you might be wondering who else rounded out the Top 10? Take a look:

1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos
3. Budda Baker, Arizona Cardinals
4. Jamal Adams, Seattle Seahawks
5. Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings
6. Tyrann Matthiew, Kansas City Chiefs
7. Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans
8. John Johnson III, Cleveland Browns
9. Derwin James Jr., Los Angeles Chargers
10. Jessie Bates III, Cincinnati Bengals

Okay, this is the time where you have to try and be realistic. Do you truly think Fitzpatrick is the best safety in the game? Certainly many will agree, but others might be more objective and disagree, suggesting another player listed is truly better.

Either way, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.