Jalen Pitre brings athleticism and versatility to Philadelphia Eagles defense.
Not only is safety a position of need but also Jalen Pitre may be one of the best players available when the Eagles are on the board. In 2021, Rodney McLeod came on at the end of the season with some key plays but he’ll enter free agency this offseason.
Anthony Harris will also enter free agency and it’d be a bit of a surprise if he was back. They could re-sign him for the familiarity with Jonathan Gannon’s defense but outside of that, it would make sense to move on. Marcus Epps had an impressive Year 3 campaign but fits best as a big nickel safety.
One of the biggest issues was the safeties helping in the run game from two-high looks. Pitre offers help in that regard with his athleticism in pursuit and high motor. His strength also shows up when receivers are knocked off of their routes with subtle contact. My guess is that those traits will lead to a rise up draft boards after the combine this week.
Pitre played everywhere in Baylor’s defense and could give Gannon that Malcolm Jenkins type of role. While his scheme isn’t the same as Schwartz’s, having a player like Pitre makes it much easier to disguise coverages whether that’s rolling into a two-high look with Pitre in the box or rolling out of a pre-snap two-high look.
No matter where he is asked to play, there’s no issue with expecting Pitre’s strong range to allow him to fly around and make plays in the backfield or in coverage.