WACO, Texas — It’s unclear exactly when Baylor safety Jalen Pitre went from underrecruited high schooler to budding NFL star.
Maybe it was during the heat of spring training as a rookie in 2017. Maybe it was breaking passes in the Big 12 title game.
Either way, Pitre’s transformation into one of college football’s best defensive backs will come full circle as he awaits his fate in the April 28-30 NFL Draft.
“I never dreamed of going to the NFL,” Pitre said. “I always dreamed of finishing college and getting my degree, but God had bigger plans. So like I said, I’m grateful to be here.”
Pitre is one of more than a dozen former Baylor athletes hoping to hear their names called in the draft, which can be seen on 25 ABC. Among them, Pitre has the highest draft rating, with draft pundits predicting that he will be selected at the end of the first round or the start of the second round.
If these pundits are right, Pitre would be Baylor’s highest draft pick since Corey Coleman (1st round, 15th pick) and Xavien Howard (2nd round, 6th pick) were chosen in the 2016 NFL Draft. at that time, Pitre was not even a student at Baylor.
“I believe I’m the best there,” he said. “I believe I have the tool set, as well as the mentality to make plays and tackles. And I just try to pass that on to the coaches and executive staff of these NFL teams as well. So, I hope they can choose me soon enough, because I think I’m the best.”
The NFL Draft begins at 7 p.m. Thursday night on 25 ABC.