Commentary

Keller outshines rest of TE class; workouts kind to many offensive tackles

Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay has the buzz from Day 3 of the NFL combine, including impressive showings by Purdue TE Dustin Keller and several offensive tackles.

Originally Published: February 23, 2008
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
Purdue TE Dustin Keller stole the show during Saturday's workouts. Keller put up impressive numbers at each station, starting with 26 reps on the 225-pound bench press. Since he weighed in at just 242 pounds earlier this week it is important that Keller showed good upper-body strength today. Once on the field, Keller showed excellent explosiveness with a 38-inch vertical leap and the fastest 40-time (4.53 seconds) among all tight ends. Keller also ran smooth routes and used his 10⅜-inch hands to snatch the ball out of the air during receiving drills.

On the flip side, Notre Dame TE John Carlson had a disappointing day. Carlson followed 20 reps on the bench by running a pair of 40-yard dashes in the low 4.9-second range. Making matters worse, he didn't show much burst coming out of his cuts and fought the ball at times during receiving drills. While the workout alone will only mildly affect Carlson's draft stock, it certainly was not the showing he was looking for following a frustrating senior season.

Another tight end who struggled catching the ball was USC's Fred Davis, who Scouts Inc. ranks as the top tight end prospect in this year's class. Davis did not run with the rest of the tight ends prior to the position-specific drills, but he seemed to settle into a grove catching the ball once he shook off the early rust. Regardless, Davis will need to put on a strong showing at USC's on-campus Pro Day on April 2 in order to hold off Keller atop the tight end rankings.