As the draft process continues to ramp up, players are getting ready for school pro days to showcase their skills, hopefully once more. This week we will look at two more seniors that have declared for the 2021 NFL Draft and what impact they might have at the next level.
Hamsah Nasirildeen - Safety - Florida State 6031 | 213 | 8268 | 3428 | 1000
A big, athletic and versatile safety, Nasirildeen can do everything on the field. He is the type of player who can play as the deep safety, in the box and blitz the quarterback, or play coverage. Nasirildeen has shown that he can be successful in coverage against tight ends and running backs. Even with his size, 6-foot-3 and 213 pounds, he can keep up with running backs right on their tails and prevent the catch or yards after the catch. When it comes to the tight end position, Nasirildeen can put up a fight at the catch-point, prevent the catch and even come down with the interception. He has great hands and is a true ball-hawk.
Here Nasirildeen takes on the tight end in one-vs-ones at the Senior Bowl.
The most valuable asset of Nasirildeen’s overall game is his significant strength when playing run defense. He is an outstanding tackler and possesses the ideal length to grab hold of the ball-carriers and bring them down, without giving up the yards after contact. Nasirildeen likes to lay the lumber occasionally but overall, he will wrap up the tackler.
Nasirildeen shows an excellent tackling technique to take down the running back and force the fumble.
Unfortunately, he did tear his ACL at the end of 2019 and only played two games in 2020 before opting out. It was good to see him play and play well at the Senior Bowl. Nasirildeen should be one of the top safeties taken in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Elerson Smith - EDGE - Northern Iowa 6064 | 262 | 8300 | 3328 | 1048
One of the real menaces on the edge in this year’s draft class is Smith, who is long, lean and can be a handful to guard on the perimeter. Standing in at 6-foot-6 and 262 pounds, he seeks after the quarterback like a missile. Smith demonstrates excellent quickness off the line of scrimmage and will use his speed to get past the offensive lineman. However, he needs to work on using more than just speed to get into the backfield. He will occasionally use a swim move to aid in block shedding. During Senior Bowl one-on-one practice sessions, Smith shows here that he is quick off the line and with a swim move combo, he can boost his game at the next level.
With a frame to add a few more pounds, Smith has to be more physical, if he wants to succeed at the next level. You will see him get bullied by the bigger guys up front and halt his progression. However, if Smith gets around the linemen, he is hard to stop and will bring the ball-carrier to the ground.
Below you will see Smith using his speed to chase the quarterback down from behind and even cause a fumble.
Possessing the versatility to play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme or outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, Smith could be best-suited to play standing up at the next level.
Smith can play as a 4-3 defensive end but he could be suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker. With his size, he might not be able to stand the wear and tear NFL offensive linemen will give him.
Giving him time to rush off the edge will increase his chances of success and save some of the wear-and-tear of lining up as a down-lineman at his size. Currently, Smith projects as a late day two/early day three prospect. However, don’t be surprised to see him go onto out-play some of players who are chosen ahead of him. Smith could be destined for stardom!
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