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Will Dustin Keller Make the Jump This Year

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I came across an interesting piece talking about how some elite tight ends improved from their first to their second seasons.

Sophomore Numbers (+/- Year 1 to Year 2)

Tony Gonzalez:      59 rec, 621 yards, 2 TD         +26 rec, +253 yards, same TD
Antonio Gates:       81 rec, 964 yards, 13 TD       +57 rec, +575 yards, +11 TD
Chris Cooley:         71 rec, 774 yards, 7 TD         +34 rec, +460 yards, +1 TD
Jason Witten:        87 rec, 980 yards, 6 TD          +52 rec, +633 yards, +5 TD
Todd Heap:            68 rec, 836 yards, 6 TD         +52 rec, +630 yards, +5 TD

AVERAGE CHANGE (Year 1 to Year 2): +44.2 rec, +510.2 yards, +4.4 TD

Judging based on this, would it even be fair to predict what scary numbers that Dustin is projected to put up in 2009? How about he is projected to have 92.2 receptions, 1,045.2 yards, and 7.4 TD. If there is one player on the team that is about to explode, its Dustin Keller.

 

On the one hand, it will be tough for Keller. The Jets are probably going to focus more on the run this year. Run blocking isn't Keller's strong point so he might not have as much playing time as you might expect. On the other hand, he will definitely be featured in the passing game. The Jets don't have much proven at wide receiver, and Keller presents too many matchup problems for the team to not exploit.