Is Dustin Keller A Top Ten Tight End In The NFL?

ESPN continued their positional power rankings today, by ranking the top ten tight ends in the league. Dustin Keller of the New York Jets ended up coming in at number 12, only a few votes away from cracking the top ten, which looked like this —

  1. Jason Witten
  2. Antonio Gates
  3. Dallas Clark
  4. Vernon Davis
  5. Chris Cooley
  6. Tony Gonzalez
  7. Kellen Winslow Jr.
  8. Mercedes Lewis
  9. Brandon Pettigrew
  10. Jermichael Finley

What are your thoughts, besides why the hell isn’t Antonio Gates number one? Personally, I would have a hard time arguing for Keller to crack this list and think number 12 is an appropriate spot for him.

Keller is yet to have a breakout year in his three NFL seasons. Last year was his best, as he finished with 55 receptions, 687 yards, 5 touchdowns. There was a brief period over a three game span early in the year when Keller looked ready to jump to an elite tight end, pulling in 5 touchdowns and 241 yards between week two and week four. However, after Santonio Holmes returned from suspension Keller quieted down and didn’t score a touchdown or record a 100 yard game the rest of the season.

Despite flashes of brilliance and the elite athleticism that made him a first round pick, he hasn’t been consistent enough to merit top ten status. He has also been somewhat held back by the Jets breaking in a rookie quarterback and operating a run heavy offense. It will be interesting to see if they open things up more and one of their receivers doesn’t return in free agency, if Keller can make the leap to a consensus top ten player at his position in the league.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports