The Jets are stacked at the cornerback position. Currently on the roster, there are ten. How does a 5-9″,190 pound cornerback make the team? Well, Ellis Lankster is a beast on special teams.
What exactly is the job of a special teams player?
Special teams players are hard workers and have to give great effort on any play they are in. They also have to prove their worth to remain on the team. Their ability is on display, and field position is key to every game. They have to have a special kind mindset to play special teams.
Lankster as a Fighter:
Lankster has bounced around the NFL and grinded to stay on a NFL team. Lankster, a seventh-round pick by Buffalo in 2009, signed with the Jets after the 2010 season. He played in the Canadian Football League for a brief time, and he has never given up on his football career.
Lankster on the Jets:
Lankster is signed to the Jets until 2016. He is a productive special teams player. In 2013, he had 13 tackles on kick and punt coverage with just 30 defensive snaps. Lankster is one of the best flankers on special teams in the NFL. He knows his role is special teams and admits he made all his teams on special team play.
Lankster 2013 Suplex Tackle:
Sprinting down the field in punt coverage, Lankster split two blockers, and wrapped up Tampa Bay PR Eric Page. In that moment, he gave a 2013 highlight with a suplex tackle.
As a kid growing up in Prichard, Alabama, a small city of 22,000 just outside of Mobile, Lankster loved watching wrestling by the likes of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in what was then known as the World Wrestling Federation.
According to Star Ledger writer Darryl Slater,
On the big play:
“But he just kept trying to run. Once I had gotten behind him, I felt he was light,” he said about the 180-pound WR, smiling as he reminisced on his “incredible” tackle, “so I just picked him up and slammed him down.”
Lankster credits special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica for consistently setting him up to succeed by putting him in the proper position. His on-the-field attitude helps as well, though. “I don’t mind making a big hit, or taking a big hit,” he said. “I don’t like to brag about myself, but I play rough and aggressive. I do it for Rex, because that’s what he loves about his players.”
Lanster on Suplex Tackle in High School:
“In high school, I was playing kickoff (coverage) team as a sophomore,” he said. “The returner kind of was like skinny and small. I had snuck around the back of the (blocking) wall, and I had caught him and dumped him the same way.”
Lankster on Wrestling Move:
“I used to love The Rock,” Lankster said. “I loved all of it.”
Lankster Sells His No. 21 Jersey:
Lankster’s new teammate is someone you might heard of – Chris Johnson. In Tennessee, Johnson wore No. 28, but not in New York. Hall of Famer Curtis Martin wore No. 28 and the Jets retired it. So Johnson chose 21 instead. Johnson made a deal with Lankster to wear the number.
“Can’t say no to money, who would?” Lankster wrote. Lankster will now change to No. 31.
Predictions on Lankster Making Team:
I believe he will make the team because of special teams. He can also play cornerback if needed. Overall, he’s good for depth, but his value is in special teams.