Hamsah Nasirildeen Scouting Report: The Prototype

By Matthew Durgin

If you were to create a football player in a laboratory, they would probably look something like Florida State safety Hamsah Nasirildeen. He came to Tallahassee as a top-rated recruit and became a multi-year starter during a transition period for the program. He did suffer a significant knee injury that cost him most of the 2020 season, but he’s the prototype for a defender in today’s game. Assuming he’s fully healthy, Nasirildeen’s ceiling is extremely high.

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Positives

Laying the Wood

Nasirildeen plays a lot like a traditional strong safety. He’ll play in the box and come up with big hits. At this point in his career, he’s much better against the run than he is against the pass. This is quite evident when you see him run sideline-to-sideline tracking down ball carriers. He plays fast and with proper tackling technique that results in very few missed tackles. Since he’s so good in the box, we should expect to see him play some linebacker in nickel and dime packages as more and more teams favor hybrid players in the secondary.

Hamsah Nasirildeen Scouting Report: Comes up from the secondary to make the tackle at the line of scrimmage
Hamsah Nasirildeen Scouting Report: Sheds a block and makes the tackle
Hamsah Nasirildeen Scouting Report: Meets the running back with force

Athleticism/Versatility

Nasirildeen is built like a linebacker, but moves like a corner. He stands at 6’4″, 220 pounds which allows him to line up in a variety of positions. At his size and with what he’s displayed on film, he will be a valuable chess piece for any defensive coordinator.

Hamsah Nasirildeen Scouting Report: Attacks the hole, sheds the pulling guard, and makes the tackle

Playmaker

Simply put, Nasirildeen makes things happen. He forced seven turnovers in college, despite only playing two full seasons. His ability to come up with big hits forces the ball out and his athleticism as a safety resulted in four collegiate interceptions. My belief is that players who can force turnovers in college can make the same thing happen in the NFL. It might take a bit for Nasirildeen to find his footing as a pro, but the wait could be well rewarded.

Negatives

Injuries

Nasirildeen sustained an ACL tear at the end of the 2019 season and only played in two games in 2020. Not every player can be superhuman and return from an ACL tear in 6-8 months so him missing the season isn’t a big deal to me. However, when he returned for those two games and played in in the Senior Bowl, he still didn’t look fully healthy. His pre-draft medicals will be huge, but in this unusual process, teams may not get a clear answer on that knee.

Needs Development

While Nasirildeen might flourish as a positionless defender, he lacks some refinement that might affect his ability to play right away. There were times where he took the wrong angles or overran a play. Then, in pass coverage, he’d rely too much on athleticism and get beat on routes he should be on top of.

Hamsah Nasirildeen Scouting Report: Shoots inside and creates hole for the receiver

Conclusion

Nasirildeen’s feels like a guy that could be very boom or bust. He’s a physical specimen in the mold of Kam Chancellor, but also has a lot of similarities to busts like Taylor Mays. Nasirildeen does have the advantage of playing in an era that suits his play style. Defenses now utilize more positionless players and focus on getting the best eleven on the field. I expect him to be a third or fourth-round pick.

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