Former Jets and Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller is reportedly meeting with the New England Patriots today. Keller is coming of a gruesome knee injury that saw him tear is ACL, MCL, and PCL last August, costing him all of last season. The meeting today likely focuses on Keller’s knee and his recovery from the injury.Keller has shown the ability to play in the NFL, and would likely only get better in an offense that featured better quarterback play than the likes of Mark Sanchez, but his ability to recover from the injury is in question. In contrast to Patriots tight End Rob Gronkowski, Keller is more of a “move” tight end similar to Aaron Hernandez, and would fill a major need in the Patriots offense. The Patriots need to gauge how much explosion and quickness Keller will be able to retain after he recovers to judge his value going forward.
This move would not, however, prevent the Patriots from drafting a tight end in next weeks NFL draft. Gronkowski himself is coming off a serious knee injury and has durability issues at this point in his young career. Tying the offense to two tight ends, though potentially dynamic, who are coming off major surgeries and may not be able to stay healthy is risky to say the least. Signing Keller would allow the Patriots to draft a tight end and groom him behind Keller, or paired with him if Gronkowski misses time, and ease him into the lineup while serving as injury insurance.