clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Two Alabama defenders on Chuck Bednarik Award watchlist

New, comments

Take a bow

Alabama v Mississippi Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The other day, we were group-texting back and forth about the Sports Illustrated list of best defenders. Minkah Fitzpatrick was listed as third by SI, behind Derwin James and Ed Oliver. While I think it may be a tossup with Ed Oliver, I maintain that there is no defender more versatile, athletic, and capable of changing a game quite like Sixpatrick. And, I certainly think he’s better than James, coming of a serious knee injury.

To no one’s surprise, both Minkah Fitzpatrick and defensive tackle/nose tackle Daron Payne made the preseason Chuck Bednarik Award watchlist, given to the nation’s top defender. (Alabama’s Jonathan Allen took home the award last year.)

Daron Payne

The strongest man on the team was a monster as a true freshman in the running game. Last season, he made more of an impact, both diversifying his skill set and polishing his pass rush from the interior. This guy is impossible to block with one defender, and two guys don’t have a much better shot.

Minkah Fitzpatrick

There’s not much you can say about the two-time All-American, two-time All-SEC defensive back. Just sit back and enjoy his last season. He’ll be a top-five pick next April in the NFL draft.

Roll Tide