Hamsah Nasirildeen might be a steal for the New York Jets in the NFL Draft, a sixth-round pick who has far greater upside than being a Day 3 selection.
An ACL tear in the 2019 season limited the Florida State safety to just two games in 2020. But Nasirildeen has the potential to make an impact for the Jets at either safety or potentially as a linebacker.
And, there is some motivation from Nasirildeen, who the Jets took No. 186 overall. If healthy, Nasirildeen was likely a Day 2 pick, a bit of intelligent drafting from general manager Joe Douglas.
“I like myself, I feel the Jets got a first-round talent with myself and when I come into work, they got a dog mentally – they definitely got one,” Nasirildeen told reporters in a video call after the NFL Draft.
“I’m not really worried about where I go in this process; I just want to go out there and show everybody what I can do. Show everybody what type of player I am, what type of man I am. Let everything play out like it is supposed to.”
He added that his drop into the latter rounds of the draft was likely with concerns about his health – “I definitely feel like my knee played a part.”
With the Jets, there’s a good chance he gets his start at linebacker and definitely with special teams. He is one of five players drafted by the Jets this past week who played as a defensive back in college. Three of the players taken were safeties.
The questions about his knee injury two years ago persist. While rehab exercises are still a part of his routine, Nasirildeen said he is full and ready to go.
In 2019 in 12 games played (10 starts) as a safety, Nasirildeen had 101 tackles, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two interceptions and three pass breakups.
“I’m fast and physical. Hard-hitting, to the ball,” Nasirildeen said. “Everything you want in a football player.”
The selection of Nasirildeen follows a similar mentality to what Douglas did in the latter rounds of his first draft with the Jets in 2020. While there is little question about Nasirildeen’s talent, his health remains a huge concern.
It is similar to Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall, who missed much of his final season in college with an ankle injury, but if healthy was a likely pick in the top 50 selections of the NFL Draft. The Jets nabbed Hall in the fifth round last spring.