2020 NFL Draft: Revisiting the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade

2020 NFL Draft: Revisiting the blockbuster Minkah Fitzpatrick trade.

One of the biggest in-season trades in recent memory was last year’s blockbuster deal involving 2018 first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick of the Miami Dolphins going to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Steelers were an intriguing trade partner as they were struggling with injuries, specifically an injury to Ben Roethlisberger, and there was a decent stretch of the 2019 season where it seemed the Miami Dolphins had a decent shot at two top three picks in the 2020 NFL Draft because of that trade.

The trade really elevated the Pittsburgh defense, which became one of the best in the NFL last season, and Pittsburgh almost messed around and made the playoffs.

The Dolphins spent the majority of the 2019 season counting draft picks like they had a huge wad of 100 dollar bills in their hand, but was this trade really beneficial for them? Let’s revisit the terms of the deal.

Minkah Fitzpatrick trade details

Steelers Get
S Minkah Fitzpatrick
2020 4th-round pick
2021 7th-round pick
Dolphins Get
2021 1st-round pick
2020 5th-round pick
2021 6th-round pick

With all but next year’s late-round picks determined, let’s take a look at this trade haul for both sides now that names have been put to those draft picks.

Steelers Get
S Minkah Fitzpatrick
OG Kevin Dotson
Dolphins Get
OT Austin Jackson
DL Jason Strowbridge

The trade is not yet fully complete with one 2021 draft pick on day three apiece yet to be utilized, but this trade has got to leave a huge lump in the thread of Miami Dolphins fans.

This is one very painful reminder of why trading a young, proven player is not always (maybe even rarely) a good idea.

Minkah Fitzpatrick is worth more than Jackson and Strowbridge combined at this point, and adding fourth-round pick Kevin Dotson — who has the look of a potential starter at guard in the NFL — makes the Pittsburgh Steelers look like they got away with a highway heist, leaving the Dolphins with mere crumbs by comparison.

Now, everything changes if Austin Jackson is able to develop into a franchise left tackle and a consistent player. Even in a deep class of tackles, though, Jackson was one of the most talented and also one of the rawest.

It’s certainly not Jackson’s fault for being picked where he was, and it makes sense that the Dolphins selected him with a gaping hole at left tackle, but with Fitzpatrick establishing himself as one of the best safeties in the league this past season for the Steelers, this trade seems very lob-sided in favor of Pittsburgh.