Dolphins sign 1st-round pick Fitzpatrick

Minkah Fitzpatrick won both the Bednarik and Nagurski awards last season at Alabama as the nation's premier defender.Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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The Miami Dolphins signed a pair of draft picks, including first-round selection Minkah Fitzpatrick, on Friday.

Fiztpatrick, a defensive back out of Alabama, signed a four-year contract worth $16.4 million, the Miami Herald reported, citing a source.

The Dolphins finally were able get their draft picks into the fold after picking up about $17 million in salary cap space, the result of former defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh’s contract coming off the team’s financial ledger on Friday.

Miami also signed cornerback Cornell Armstrong of Southern Mississippi, a sixth-round pick, according to a Twitter post by his agent, Brett Tessler, and was expected to come to terms with other players Friday.

Fitzpatrick, selected No. 11 overall in the NFL Draft, won the Bednarik and Nagurski awards this season as the nation’s premier defender.

A two-time first-team All-American, Fitzpatrick filled every role in the secondary for the Crimson Tide in the past three years, including cornerback, strong safety, nickel back and dime linebacker. He set the school record for career interception returns for touchdowns with four.

Fitzpatrick drew rave reviews from leading up to the draft, which touted him as perhaps “the cleanest NFL prospect” in college football.

“Fitzpatrick possesses the raw athleticism, instincts and toughness to continue playing multiple roles at the next level. The question is not whether Fitzpatrick can play cornerback or safety in the NFL but which position the team lucky enough to select him needs help at most,” read the website’s assessment.

Armstrong had 146 tackles, including 9.5 for loss, with five interceptions in his four seasons at Southern Miss.



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