The Cowboys always seem to have a hole at safety. Unfortunately for them, there’s no safety worth taking at pick No. 24. Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton will undoubtedly be gone, and better prospects will be available when Dallas picks. However, plenty of talent will be available on day two of the NFL Draft.
One that stands out is Baylor’s Jalen Pitre. Pitre, the 2021 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, is a dynamic and versatile playmaker who brings a lot to the table. He was vital to the Bears’ defensive success last season and led all defensive backs with 47 stops. Pitre’s safety position is just a formality, as he played many positions at Baylor. You can find Pitre rushing off the edge, lining up as a slot cornerback and playing in the box in addition to his safety role. He’s a true hybrid player; one defensive coordinators will love to have at their disposal.
Pitre weighs 197 pounds but exhibits physicality like a 240-pound linebacker. He’s willing to take on larger players and often beats them to make a play in the backfield or in space. He’s a sturdy tackler who defends the run beautifully. Pitre is also very athletic, combining excellent pursuit skills with great coverage ability between the sticks.
Pitre’s ball skills are top-notch, too. At the Senior Bowl, he covered many deep routes, something he didn’t often do at Baylor. Despite this, Pitre performed well, showing that he could excel anywhere on the field. He thrives in contested catch situations, using his physicalness and instincts to locate and wrestle the ball away from the receiver. He’s intelligent, athletic, instinctive and aggressive, all skills that should translate well at the next level. His leadership abilities stand out as well, and he can be a great signal-caller for any defense.
How does Pitre fit with the Cowboys? He can be anything you want him to be. Due to his size, Pitre will most likely play safety or slot cornerback in the NFL, meaning he’ll be in coverage way more than in college. With Damontae Kazee and Malik Hooker potentially departing, Dallas will need all kinds of safeties next season. Donovan Wilson is also entering the final year of his contract and has had problems staying healthy. Pitre plays his best as a box safety and run defender, but you can use him in various ways. If the Cowboys choose to pick a safety in rounds two or three, Pitre will likely be available. If selected, he will not disappoint.