We continue our rating of the Jets roster. Now are tight ends. Click here for a refresher on what the rankings mean.
Dustin Keller (2-B)
It feels like an annual event that people wonder whether this will be the year Keller emerges as an elite tight end. He was on the fringes of the top ten in a number of significant categories in 2010. His performances tended to be feast or famine. The total numbers all count, though. It doesn't matter whether a baseball team scores 9 runs in 1 inning and nothing the rest of the game or 1 run in every inning. It adds up to 9 runs either way. Keller could enter the top tier by becoming more consistent. Part of it might involve the Jets focusing on him more. I have long said the Jets should make him the focal point of the passing game. He is too athletic for many linebackers to handle. If a defense has to do something special to help him, it creates one on one matchups on the outside for the talented wide receivers on the team. Even so, Keller drops too many passes and has bouts of alligator arms where he does not fully fight for balls he could catch. As a blocker, Keller will probably never be at the top of his class, but he has improved leaps and bounds from his rookie year. He has become adequate. He provided little in this area when he entered the league. Dustin has all of the ability in the world. Maybe this will be the year it all clicks.
Matthew Mulligan (3-E)
The Jets want the Maine product to step up and replace Ben Hartsock as the in line blocker who gets a consistent push in the run game and save them money in the process. If he could develop enough as a receiver to force a defense at least account for him, something Hartsock was never able to do, Gang Green would be thrilled.
Jeff Cumberland (3-D)
He has great physical tools, size, speed, and athleticism. He is very raw, though. If he can develop, he could potentially pair with Keller to give defensive coordinator headaches with two matchup problems at tight end. He has a lot of work to do, though, after spending his rookie year struggling to get off the bench. The Jets saw enough in him to keep him around.