New York Jets linebacker Hamsah Nasirildeen could be a late-round steal for Joe Douglas and company if he can make the transition from safety.
The New York Jets‘ 186th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft features a similar strategy to the round prior when they selected Jamien Sherwood 146th overall. Selecting strong safety Hamsah Nasirildeen out of Florida State made it clear that Robert Saleh wants coverage at linebacker.
Hamsah offers great size at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, absurd 34.5-inch arms, and a massive 81.875-inch wingspan.
Hamsah was a top 100 player on many draft pundits’ boards and many were shocked that he fell to pick 186. This is mostly believed to be because of an injury suffered late in the 2019 season. Hamsah tore his ACL and was only able to play two games in the 2020 season.
Coming back, a feat in itself, Hamsah was applauded for working hard to recover from his injury. Hamsah was also applauded for his leadership traits, as he frequently traveled with the football team, while rehabbing, in order to offer guidance and leadership.
Hamsah obviously offers a good baseline of ridiculous size to build upon, but he also offers physicality and that “want-to.” Assuming he is healthy and recovered, he could legitimately compete for the starting WILL linebacker spot along with Blake Cashman and Sherwood. Hamsah may end up being one of the bigger steals of the NFL draft.
Let’s take a look at some plays showcasing Nasirildeen’s major strengths and weaknesses. Below you will also find a full list of strengths and weaknesses, plus a full film breakdown episode of Blewett’s Blitz on all things Hamsah Nasirildeen.
Recorded back-to-back plays for Nasirildeen that show off the above trait, it’s nothing flashy, but these plays clearly show what I’m talking about.
In the first play, Nasirildeen (deepest defender between hashes) drives down on the quarterback who keeps the ball after the fake zone-split with the “sifter” turning into a lead/arc blocker. Nasirildeen takes an aggressive angle to the QB (as he should here since the QB is working in traffic) and lays a big shot even though the QB is already being brought down.
In the second play, Nasirildeen (deepest defender on-screen) works upfield as he sees the handoff, then tracks the running back. He closes ground on the RB, who is being taken down by the 4i-tech and another defensive back from the outside. Hamsah dives into the pile looking to lay a shot on the RB.
Hamsah is the type of player who will make ball carriers think twice about going over the middle, a nice trait to possess.