- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Free-agent tight end Dustin Keller, who missed last season with a serious knee injury sustained in the preseason, is visiting the Patriots today, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Keller, if healthy, would potentially fill the Patriots' need for a "move" tight end. D.J. Williams is the only other pure "move" tight end on the roster, with bigger first-year receiver Mark Harrison a possibility in that type of role. Keller's most productive season as a pass-catcher came in 2011, when he had 65 catches for 815 yards and five touchdowns.
Current Patriots assistant Brian Daboll coached Keller with the Jets in 2008, Keller's rookie season.
A first-round pick out of Purdue that year (31st overall), the 29-year-old Keller signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins last year before tearing his right ACL, MCL and PCL, and also dislocating the knee, in a preseason game against the Texans.
While with the Jets, the 6-foot-2, 255-pound Keller was traditionally a tough matchup for the Patriots.
QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: The tight end class in this year's draft isn't considered deep, and the Patriots could be exploring contingency plans if they don't come out of the draft with a player at the position. A case could also be made that Keller could be signed regardless of whether the Pats draft a TE as part of creating competition. It could be a win-win situation if Keller is healthy -- a chance for the Patriots to bolster their roster at a likely cheap cost, while Keller gets a chance to get his career back on track in a solid offense led by Tom Brady.
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