NY Jets: Hamsah Nasirildeen named biggest steal of the draft

NY Jets, Hamsah Nasirildeen
NY Jets, Hamsah Nasirildeen / Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The NY Jets might have landed the steal of the draft with their sixth-round selection of former Florida State safety Hamsah Nasirildeen.

At least, that's the sentiment shared by Sports Illustrated's Kristian Dyer who recently detailed why Nasirildeen could be the "biggest steal" for the Jets.

Projected as a late Day 2/early Day 3 pick going into the 2021 NFL Draft, Nasirildeen shockingly fell all the way to the top of the sixth round where the Jets quickly scooped him up.

His talent has never been in question, and if he could live up to the potential he showed at Florida State, Nasirildeen certainly could wind up as one of the best Day 3 picks of this year's draft.

The NY Jets may have landed a steal in Hamsah Nasirildeen

A standout safety in college, Nasirildeen put himself on the national radar in 2019 when he took over as a full-time starter en route to being named second-team All-ACC.

Nasirildeen led his team in tackles (for the second consecutive season) and forced fumbles before suffering a torn ACL in the final game of the year.

That injury would keep him sidelined for much of 2020, although he did return to play two games late in the season. Nonetheless, he was still seen as one of the better safeties in his class leading up to the draft.

Few expected him to fall as far as he did.

With the Jets, however, Nasirildeen will be taking on a new role as he transitions to linebacker — a role that certainly suits his physical, downhill style of play.

The 22-year-old excelled as a thumper and box safety at Florida State and at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, he always seemed a bit oversized for the safety position.

While not the most adept in coverage, his ball skills and above-average athleticism (especially for the linebacker position) should prevent him from being a liability in that area.

And fortunately for Nasirildeen, he should be given every opportunity to see playing time on defense early in his career, despite being a late-round pick.

The Jets don't have a starter set in stone for the weakside linebacker role with the oft-injured Blake Cashman and fifth-round pick Jamien Sherwood expected to compete alongside Nasirildeen for the job in training camp.

Nasirildeen arguably had the strongest resume out of all three players coming out of college and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him carve out a role on defense this season.

The Jets will give Nasirildeen every opportunity to prove Dyer and others right. From a talent perspective, he might already be one of the best value picks of the draft.

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Is he the biggest steal? That's a question we could revisit in a few years' time.