2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jalen Pitre

  • Jalen Pitre, 5-10/196

  • Safety

  • Baylor

  • Jalen Pitre Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Very instinctive
  • Good ball skills
  • Soft hands to reel in interceptions
  • Plays the ball well to avoid penalties and smack passes away
  • Intelligent
  • Anticipates well
  • Good in zone coverage in short part of the field
  • Good tackler
  • Fearless defender
  • Gritty playmaker
  • Has a real presence
  • Dangerous blitzer
  • Leader
  • Football character
  • Reads a quarterback’s eyes
  • Not a gambler
  • Anticipates well for firing to flat or coming downhill
  • Willing run defender

  • Weaknesses:
  • Undersized
  • Could have a hard time avoiding injury in the NFL
  • Too small to be a strong safety, eighth man in the box
  • Lacks size to tackle NFL running backs
  • Tightly wound
  • Too stiff to play man coverage on slot receivers
  • Too small to play man coverage on tight ends
  • Lacks the speed and range to be a deep free safety

  • Summary: After serving as a backup for three seasons, Pitre started flashing ability in the shortened 2020 season with 60 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and two passes defended. Pitre the came through with a lot of splash plays for the Bears as a senior, recording 75 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and seven passes broken up. He is intelligent and has instincts to stay around the ball.

    In pass coverage, Pitre is limited because of his size. He does not have the speed or length to be a deep free safety who can play the single-high role and lock down the deep part of the field. Along with being undersized, Pitre is stiff and not fluid in pass coverage. Hence, he is not a fit to play slot cornerback to run with slot receivers or cover tight ends in man coverage. Pitre is going to have problems running with pro wide outs and preventing separation. What he does best is blitz and play slot zone coverage in the short portion of the field. Team sources say Pitre is almost best as an extremely undersized linebacker.

    In run defense, Pitre is willing to tackle, and he shows solid form to take legs out from underneath ball-carriers to get them on the ground. Pitre is too small, however, to be a strong safety and serve as the eighth man in the box. Near the line of scrimmage, he will have problems defending downhill runs coming straight at him. Pitre does show good recognition skills and anticipates well, so he is valuable to chase down ball-carriers and make tackles in space. Pitre is a willing run defender, but his size presents significant limitations for the NFL.

    Sources from three different teams said they had Pitre with late-round grades and a projection of being a future backup and special teams player, but there is a lot of media hype about Pitre, so perhaps there are some teams out there that value him higher. Some sources think Pitre would be a big reach, but given the hype. they think someone might take him in the second or third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

    Player Comparison: Tyrann Mathieu. Pitre is a unique player, and thereby he is hard to compare. His style of play is similar to Mathieu’s in that Pitre is dangerous in underneath zone, can blitz, and make some splash plays while being undersized. Mathieu, however, can do a lot of things that Pitre can’t. Mathieu is more instinctive, tougher in run defense, and has the ability to play man coverage on slot receivers or tight ends. Pitre can’t do those things, so in the NFL, Pitre might be a poor man’s version of Mathieu.


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