After their flurry of trading activity earlier on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Jets got to one of their own picks, the second choice of Round 6. And the Green & White made their fourth consecutive defensive selection (after opening the draft with four straight offensive picks) by tabbing Florida State linebacker Hamsah Nasirildeen with the 186th overall selection of the draft.
"I feel like the Jets got a first-round talent with myself," Nasirildeen told Jets reporters, "and the way I'm coming to work, I feel like they got a dog mentally. I just want to go out and show everybody what I can do, what type of player I am, what type of man I am, and let everything play out the way it's supposed to."
Nasirildeen (6-3, 215), similar to Jamien Sherwood in Round 5, is being listed as an LB although he stood out at safety for the Seminoles. He started 17 games over the past three seasons (but only two games after missing seven games in 2020 rehabbing an injured knee) with 233 tackles and four interceptions for his career. He was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2019.
The Seminole is good with the positional adjustment he's about to make in the pros.
"I feel like playing in the box is the best part of my game," he said, "so I feel like it's going to translate well."
A willing tackler who notched 101 stops in 2019, he was the first FSU player since 2014 to record 100 tackles in a season and the first since 1990 to notch multiple 17-tackle games in one season.
All this after coming out of high school as a consensus four-star recruit and the No. 1 player in North Carolina in 2017.
Steve Muench of espn.com describes Nasirildeen as "a tall, strong safety/outside linebacker hybrid with good bulk, excellent length and above-average playing speed for his frame. He's an aggressive and willing run defender with the strength to play in the box. His length is an asset in coverage, but he has weak cover skills for a traditional safety prospect."
Nasirildeen is the eighth Florida State player to be drafted by the Jets all-time. The most recent two Seminoles taken by the Green & White were offensive standouts, WR Laveranues Coles (Round 3, No. 78, 2000) and RB Leon Washington (Round 4, No. 117, 2006). Coles and Washington both had roles in this year's Jets draft, with Coles announcing Round 2 WR Elijah Moore and Washington, now a Jets assistant special teams coach, revealing RB Michael Carter as the Jets pick in Round 4.
Before those two, the Jets had three consecutive FSU defensive picks who had distinguished careers in green and white: CB Bobby Jackson (Round 6, No. 140, 1978) and NT Gerald Nichols (Round 7, No. 187, 1987) and LB Marvin Jones (Round 1, No. 4, 1993),