Monday, August 18, 2008


Purdue tight end Dustin Keller caught 68 passes for 881 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior, before the New York Jets made him the 30th overall selection in the 2008 National Football League Draft.

CFI: Take us back a little right before the draft, at the combine--you weren't necessarily a household name and you really broke out in that combine, how important was that for you?

DK: I knew coming out of Purdue, just the way everybody kind of perceived me, that’s the way that was going to be. I knew the combine was going to (be that important), even though it shouldn't be that way, that a 40 brings a guy up so much. I knew that was going to be on a lot of people’s radar and a lot people’s draft boards. You know I had the best possible outcome there. I just gave it everything I had.

CFI: I remember hearing before that, people saying, “he's got good hands, he's a playmaker but he's not that fast, he's not that athletic.” Were you scratching your head when you heard that stuff?

DK: Yeah, I don't know who put that in everyone’s head, but I was definitely determined to prove them wrong.

CFI: On draft day, the Jets traded up to get you. Did you have an inkling at all that the Jets were interested?

DK: I definitely had a thought they were interested but I didn't know they were going to trade into the first round, that kind of surprised me. I thought that if I fell that far back I was going to be picked by them as the sixth pick in the second round. But I didn't know they were going to trade into the first round.

CFI: What does that feel like when a team trades up for you?

DK: It feels great. It's an awesome feeling, especially when it ends up being in the very first round.

CFI: So far, what's it like--your NFL experience, learning under veterans like Chris Baker and Bubba Franks? How helpful have they been?

DK: They have been very helpful. Those guys have been around the league for a bunch of years being very productive. Bubba has been to a few Pro Bowls, Baker had an outstanding year last year and I'm just kind of picking at their brains learning things here and there and I think it's really working out for me.

CFI: What has been the biggest challenge so far?

DK: Just adjusting to the preciseness of the NFL. Everything has to be precise, be this certain way…you have to hit a guy at this angle--it's kind of crazy how precise it is, but I think I'm coming around.

CFI: How much do you think you’re going to be used as a pass catcher in the sense that you will be lining up wide?

DK: I couldn't give you a clear cut answer to you right now but I definitely feel that they’re going to utilize me somehow in that aspect, but we'll see.

CFI: How about this whole Brett Favre thing? Have you ever experienced anything like this in college or anywhere else, this whole media circus?

DK: No. I mean you can't trade players around in college or anything like that, but we never had any situation or story at my school, I guess, that is this big because it is a huge thing for the media but it's definitely an honor to catch passes from him.

CFI: How does it feel catching the first pass thrown to you, does it feel any different? Does it feel special?

DK: You know he throws a great ball of course, that is why he‘s been around playing for so long. But in practice, it probably wouldn't feel that different except we got a huge turnout from the fans and every single pass he completed there was just a roar from the fans like we were back in the stadium.

CFI: Is this almost like a spring game?

DK: Yeah, it almost was. It really almost was.

CFI: What do you think of Purdue’s chances this year and Curtis Painter's senior season?

DK: I talked to a few of the guys and they felt really good on where they are right now. I have all the confidence in the world in them. I think they'll get it done.