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Jets sign first-round pick Keller, only Gholston still unsigned

NEW YORK -- The New York Jets signed tight end Dustin Keller, the 30th overall pick in the draft, to a multiyear contract Friday.

Height: 6-2

Weight: 248

College: Purdue

Experience: Rookie

The signing leaves defensive end-linebacker Vernon Gholston, taken sixth overall, as the Jets' only unsigned draft pick. New York opens training camp next Thursday.

"There was never really any doubt in my mind that we were going to get everything done on time," Keller said. "I'm just happy that everything's done and to officially be a New York Jet -- just happy that all that stuff's done now and we can actually get down to the real football business and get the pads on."

The speedy Keller, known more for his receiving skills than his blocking, caught 142 passes for 1,882 yards and 16 touchdowns for Purdue and will give the Jets a much-needed vertical threat alongside starting wide receivers Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery.

"I feel pretty confident with the offense right now. I've been doing a lot of studying and getting everything down," Keller said. "As far as expectations for the season, I haven't really set any true expectations for myself. For right now, I just want to get the offense down as good as I can and I want to go out there and give the Jets everything I've got every chance I'm out there."

The Jets entered the draft needing faster targets, and the front office was so enamored with the 6-foot-2 Keller, they traded back into the first round, acquiring Green Bay's pick and making him the first wide receiver or tight end taken in the draft.

Keller, who originally went to Purdue as a wide receiver, had a terrific senior season, catching 68 passes for 881 yards and seven touchdowns while earning team MVP honors. He'll add depth to the tight end spot for New York, which also has veterans Chris Baker and Bubba Franks, and A.J. Schable, Jason Pociask and James Dearth, primarily a long snapper, on the roster.

Also Friday, the Jets waived rookie cornerback Jonathan Zenon, an undrafted free agent from LSU.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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