EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 24: Will Blackmon #36 of the New York Giants is tackled by Ellis Lankster #26 of the New York Jets during the firsthalf on December 24, 2011 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
I hope over the next few days we can take some time to look at some other players apart from Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez and Darrelle Revis. One of the players that I'm really intrigued about is Ellis Lankster the Cornerback who was drafted out of West Virgnia.
There are two reasons for this, one is that in the 2009 draft I rated Lankster a lot higher than the 7th round that he was taken in. The other is that I have heard nothing but positive things about him from colleagues and fans in attendance at the Jets Training facility up in Cortland
The thing with Ellis is that he has never really stuck around anywhere. Even in college he played his freshman and sophomore years at Jones County Junior College before transferring to West Virgnia. He was drafted by the Bills in 2009 but released during the 2010 pre-season. He went up to Canada to try his hand with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before being signed, waived and signed by the Jets.
At the moment if you just read the above, he is looking like a little camp body who may be able to carve a place on special teams, long enough that he can sample some fine pizza in NY. However I have spoken with several people who have attended multiple practises this off-season and all have said that Ellis is making the team this year. Some have even said that he'll make the team as a cornerback playing some nickel defence.
The great thing for Ellis, the 4th cornerback spot is up for grabs. We have out top three and they are not being moved in Revis, Cromartie and Wilson. However after them we have the likes of Donnie Fletcher, Isaiah Trufant, Ryan Steed and D'Anton Lynn. We know that in a Rex Ryan defense, you have to love and have lots of cornerbacks. There is a gap for Ellis and at the moment he is grabbing it with both hands.
One of the concerns coming out of college related to him being able to play what is in front of him, but struggling to really turn his hips and run with receivers. He doesn't have lightning speed and he isn't going to scare you from coming over the middle. However he has good football instincts and he knows where the ball is going, I have read numerous reports suggesting that Ellis has been intercepting our QB's for fun this off-season.
I'll be keeping a close eye on him when the first pre-season game gets under way.