This offseason, the Miami Dolphins signed tight end Dustin Keller as part of the roster overhaul/spending spree. The veteran was brought in to add arrows to quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s quiver, effectively upgrading the passing game.
So far, it appears that Keller is delivering for the Dolphins.
Since the preseason kicked off, Keller has racked up a team-high 50 receiving yards on three catches while also hauling in a touchdown. His first trip to the endzone in Miami came on a 22-yard toss that needed an athletic adjustment to haul in.
Despite his low snap count (21) through the first two preseason games, the former New York Jets starter has caught everything that has come his way while giving Tannehill a reliable target to throw to.
The important aspect of Keller’s presence is his ability to stretch the field vertically. With Mike Wallace on the shelf and the rest of the wide receiver depth chart outside of Brian Hartline a huge question mark, the Dolphins need all of the help they can get in the passing game. Keller brings the type of playmaking and consistency that Tannehill needs to succeed in his sophomore season.
Keller is coming off a down 2012 season with the Jets that was hindered by injuries and more poor passing from Mark Sanchez. He caught only 28 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns in eight appearances, but has the potential to be a dynamic receiving threat for the Dolphins.
As long as he can stay healthy, Keller will be a major upgrade at the tight end spot for Miami. Tannehill needs as many capable targets as possible, and the seam-stretching Keller could be exactly what the doctor ordered.