CFB Player in Focus: Baylor's blitzing Pitre will be an intriguing Senior Bowl study
Senior Bowl invites have been dispatched and Twitter is full of acceptance announcements. When looking more deeply into prospects the annual game is a good gauge of how the league views some of the country’s brightest prospects.
Baylor’s Jalen Pitre was a name I wasn’t overly familiar with, so I drilled down into a couple of the Bear’s games this year to see why Jim Nagy and his team had selected him.
The Bears' Pass-Rushing Secret Weapon
The defensive back is listed at 6’0 and 197lbs. He immediately turns up on the tape predominantly occupying a slot corner role.
That said, it’s difficult to bracket Pitre as a cornerback. Head Coach Dave Aranda uses him aggressively to bring pressure away from the line of scrimmage. Of his 686 snaps this year, 80 of them were considered pass-rushing ones. Around 25% of those snaps have resulted in pressures and three in sacks.
As a result, PFF has given Pitre stellar grades in run defense and pass-rushing categories. His tackling is a strong point. Able to wrap up runners in the open field as well as having the temerity to attack much bigger blockers, Pitre’s game belies his smaller frame.
Finding The Perfect Position At The Next Level
Therein is the issue with Pitre, what is his role in the NFL? While his coverage is solid it’s unlikely the NFL would project him as a cornerback. His physicality means a role as safety is not out of the question but with only a handful of snaps as a deep defender, he is essentially a wafer-thin linebacker.
NFL teams will love the all-action style of Pitre and special teams coordinators are sure to bang the table for a guy whose tackling and speed make him an ideal piece in the third phase of the game.
The Benefits Of A Week In Mobile
Fortunately for Pitre the Senior Bowl will give him the opportunity to audition at all the aforementioned positions. The beauty of a week in Mobile is that scouts can request that he takes snaps all over the field. That means that the Baylor Bear will be one of the names to keep a close eye on come February 5th.
Feature Image Credit: Baylor Athletics
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com.