With a new head coach coming in to make a dramatic rebound after a dismal 2-14 2020 season, Robert Saleh is set to shake up the core of the Jets’ defensive strategy.
For the past fifteen seasons, the Jets have relied on a standard 3-4 defensive package that has left the Jets vulnerable defensively for many seasons. Under Saleh, the Jets are looking to move to a 4-3 package that leaves room for flexibility and speed, especially at the DE and LB positions.
One of the exciting 2021 draft picks who could help Robert Saleh shake up the Jets defense is S Hamsah Nasirildeen. Coming out of Florida State, Nasirildeen had a productive collegiate career with a total of 233 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions, 9 pass deflections, and 3 forced fumbles. Especially productive during the 2019 season, Nasirildeen suffered an ACL tear that ended 2019 early after amassing 101 tackles – the first FSU player to garner more than 100 tackles in a season since 2014. Nasirildeen also earned a second-team All-ACC selection at safety in 2019.
With rebounding from a major knee injury, Nasirildeen was limited to the final two games in 2020; he still contributed defensively with 13 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and one interception in those games.
Hamsah Nasirildeen will have the opportunity to show his flexibility as a hybrid LB-dime/nickel package player in Saleh’s defensive rebuilding efforts in New York. A 6’3″, 215 lb. rangy safety, Nasirildeen has been widely regarded as a strong player in space who can make downhill tackles, especially when facing larger TEs in many NFL offensive schemes.
The Jets may have gotten a bargain in drafting Nasirildeen in the 6th round (186th selection overall), which is undoubtedly due to his uncertain status coming off an ACL tear and limited playing time in the 2020 season.
Furthermore, Nasirildeen didn’t clock in a 40 yard dash time at the recent NFL Combine due to a hamstring injury which also hampered his draft status.
Nevertheless, if Hamsah Nasirildeen stays healthy, his conversion from S to LB could quickly start paying dividends for the Jets and help Robert Saleh develop a new defensive brand in New York, which is nothing but great news for Jets fans eager to forget a disastrous 2020 season.
Featured Image: USA Today