Dustin Keller   #81 TE

Height: 6-2   Weight: 255   Age: 29

Born: 9/25/1984 Lafayette , IN

College: Purdue

Experience: 7th season

High School: Jefferson HS [Lafayette, IN]

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Combine 2008

Combine
Stats:

  • 20 Yard Shuttle4.14 secs
  • 3 Cone Drill6.88 secs
  • 40 Yard Dash4.55 Secs
  • Vertical Jump38.0 inches
  • Bench Press26.0 reps
  • 60 Yard Shuttle11.74 secs
  • Broad Jump131.0 inches

Strengths

Positives: Has a cut, defined frame with good muscle tone, tight waist and hips, good arm reach, very large hands, adequate bubble and defined calves and thighs...Runs good straight-line routes and can sink his pads to settle underneath, but is best when used on the move...Has good field vision and comes back for the ball when the quarterback is in trouble...Has the large hands to reach for and pluck the ball, but lacks good consistency in this area...Looks more like San Diego's Vincent Jackson (oversized wide receiver trapped in a marginally-sized tight end's body), but shows good suddenness of the snap when he is able to escape the press cleanly...Gets in and out of his breaks with just a little hesitation, but will sometimes take false steps...Plays with the proper flat-back pad level and runs light on his feet, building his acceleration nicely...Hard worker in practices and in the training room, displaying impressive strength (has good power, but needs to show more desire to use it in his blocking technique)...Has very good athletic ability and shows good explosion in his initial step off the snap...Uses his quickness more than power to aid in his in-line release and, even though blocking is the weakest area of his game, he has the foot speed and balance to wall off defenders when the effort is there...Can separate and stretch the field down the middle and shows the vision to locate the void and settle underneath...Has the timed speed to quickly run the seam, showing good timing in avoiding second-level defenders...Does gather at the top of his route, but also flashes the suddenness to separate in the short area...Good on the short, five-yard bend-out, but must extend his hands better on shallow crossing patterns...Can vertically stretch the field, but that is sometimes negated due to his marginal ability to track the deep throws...Does a good job bending and adjusting for low throws (not as good going for the ball above his head)...After the catch he has the ability to make the first guy miss and has decent run-after-the-catch acceleration...Shows awareness and instincts in the passing game, but is best served when he aligns at multiple spots...Flashes good explosiveness running with the ball after the catch, but needs to use his power to run over defenders and break arm tackles...Has the second gear to gobble up the cushion and get behind a lethargic defender...Knows how to use his frame effectively to shield defenders from the ball (fumbling is not an issue). Negatives: Has marginal size for the classic tight end position and is best used in a move-oriented (H-Back) formation to get the best out of his ability...Must totally revamp his blocking technique, as he spends too much time catching defenders with his hands and will generally get those hands outside his frame, allowing the opponent to make a quick move over his outside shoulder...Must do a better job of anchoring and running his feet when asked to block in-line, but he also does not possess the raw power to hold his ground firmly at the point of attack...It is not as if he lacks courage, but he does tend to shy away from contact going for the ball in a crowd...Does have concentration lapses catching the ball, as he gets off-kilter when he hears footsteps closing on the play...Has adequate hands, but would be much better if he would extend for the ball outside his frame better (lets the ball absorb into his body too much, resulting in quite a few drops when he double-catches)...Has good leaping ability, but needs to develop timing to win more jump balls (prefers to catch the ball in stride rather than reach and pluck it)...Better in the short area, as he has trouble tracking the ball in flight on deep routes (does not swivel his head well to look the ball in over his shoulder)...Also a poor cut blocker, as he fails to execute good angles to get out and neutralize second-level defenders...Can retain plays, but despite good academics and knowledge to play multiple positions, he needs more than a few reps to retain...Must improve his footwork, as he will take false steps in transition and sometimes breaks off his route too early...His weight-room strength fails to translate to the football field, as he generates just a passing hand jolt and will get held up by a strong press, as he does not get good hand placement in attempts to separate at the line of scrimmage...Has good timed speed, but runs a bit erect, lacking crisp cutting ability to come out of his breaks cleanly...Has had minor injury issues, but will play through pain (played with a shoulder tear for the second half of 2006, but still caught 37 passes in his final eight games after sustaining the injury)...Despite his quickness, he is not considered a deep threat that can challenge the secondary often (adequate cutting ability is the main culprit). Compares To: ERIC JOHNSON-New Orleans...As a move-oriented H-back, Keller will bring decent value in the middle rounds of the draft. Like Johnson, he is really more of a big possession receiver. He doesn't love to block and doesn't show great desire to combat for the ball in a crowd. He uses his body well to settle in the soft areas on the field and does a good job working back to the quarterback on broken plays. When he gets a clean release off the snap, he shows the light feet to get into his routes. Still, he needs to show better cutting agility out of his breaks. If your team has a physical blocker at this position and you're looking for a complimentary intermediate-range receiver, Keller could fill that role. If you are looking for a complete, physical blocker at the position, you might be looking elsewhere.

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