4. 5. Rookie starting at linebacker for the NY Jets
Joining Saleh’s coaching staff as the Jets defensive coordinator is Jeff Ulbrich. He has spent last season as the Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator and has similar defensive philosophies as Saleh.
Among those philosophies are speed and being able to read defenses. They want linebackers who can go sideline-to-sideline with the run game, as well as cover tight ends. Yet, New York barely made any big additions at linebacker this off-season.
Yes, C.J. Mosley returning from seems like a two-year hiatus is huge. The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker is joined by Jarrad Davis, a former first-round pick by the Detroit Lions. Davis spent his first four years with the Lions, but slowly faded in the depth chart and was considered a bust.
Davis now looks to start fresh and has definitely caught the coach’s eyes. Another guy who has done the same is rookie linebacker Hamsah Nasirildeen.
The Florida State product was once considered a safety that could go as high as the second round in the draft. Or that was until injuries limited him to two games in 2020, as he slid to the Jets in the sixth round.
At 6’4” and 220-pounds, Nasirildeen has the speed and size that Ulbrich wants at linebacker on his defense. Both Nasirildeen and Jamien Sherwood have switched from safety to linebacker because of their skills.
The Jets do not have much experience at linebacker, so one would think third-year linebacker Blake Cashman would be the weakside starter. Rather, New York has Nasirildeen listed as the starter thanks to his play with the first-team defense of late.