The Dolphins have been disappointed in their tight end production and decided to grab Mike Gesicki to solve their tight end problems. He is a phenomenal athlete who can move the chains and get that touchdown. He is a basketball player which means that he has good hands, and he can actually run good routes. He is the best offensive weapon of all the tight ends in this draft. Unfortunately, when you see him line up you will know that it is going to more than likely be a pass as he is not a good blocker. Despite his poor blocking resume, Gesicki is a hard worker who does not drop passes .... at all. If they are catchable he reels them in.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn St
6-5½, 247 lbs
Scouts Grade 83
Position Rank 3
Overall Rank 51
Arm Length 34-1/8"
Hand Size 10-1/4"
40-YD Dash 4.54
Overall Football Traits
Tight End Specific Traits
Separation Skills 3
Ball Skills 1
Big Play Ability 3
1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal
Gesicki holds the Penn State tight end career records for catches (129), receiving yards (1,481) and receiving TDs (15). He's not an alpha leader, but is a hard worker. A big target with long arms and big hands, he has outstanding ball skills and excels at high-pointing in jump-ball situations. Gesicki has enough speed to make plays down the seam and runs hard after the catch, but is not an elite big-play threat. He's a below average positional blocker who lacks the strength to be an effective in-line blocker at this point.
Gesicki projects as an F tight end with the tools to quickly develop into red zone weapon and matchup problem for defenses. He projects as a Day 2 pick.
Gesicki is a phenomenal athlete at the tight end position, and colleges saw that aspect of his makeup while inspecting his high school career: All-American, top-15 prospect at tight end (33 receptions, 530 yards, four touchdowns receiving); New Jersey Player of the Year, school's all-time leading scorer in basketball (1,867 points) and state slam dunk contest winner; four-time letter-winner in volleyball. Penn State reeled him in for the 2014 season, playing in all 13 games (one start) in his first season (11 catches for 114 yards). He started eight of 12 games in 2015, compiling 13 throws for 125 yards and his first touchdown. Gesicki used his size, athleticism, and soft hands to benefit from the team's improvement on offense in 2016, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten notice from league coaches by starting all 14 games and finishing among the top tight ends in the country in receiving (48 receptions, 679 yard, five scores).
If you are looking for a tight end who can line up and help in the running game, he's not your guy. However, if you want a pass-catcher who can get open and has the ball skills to win against linebackers and safeties, he might be your guy. Gesicki needs to improve his play strength and his issues as a blocker could limit the amount of teams who will target him, but he has a chance to become one of the better pass catching tight ends in the league.
* Smooth in his release
* Generates vertical concern for cover linebackers with sneaky build-up speed
* Long, athletic gait and loose hips help him create separation on second and third level routes
* Puts effort and work into route running
* Works the seam without hesitation
* Changes route speeds and works head fakes effectively to mask route intentions
* Able to run more complex patterns
* Ball skills stand out amongst tight end class of 2018
* Confident focused pass catcher
* Prep standout in volleyball and basketball with the leaping and timing to prove it
* Uses length and springs to create rare catch radius
* Makes in-air adjustments to the ball and is in optimal position to pull it in when it gets there
* Hasn't had a legitimate pass drop in two years
* Built more like a high-jumper than a tight end
* Long and lanky with a stride length that limits quickness in and out of breaks
* Will struggle to shake coverage on short routes near the line of scrimmage
* Play strength is below average
* Needs to prove he can handle physical jams and route redirection
* Can be slow to get head around and find the ball
* Passive approach as blocker puts run plays in immediate peril
* Hand usage is poor in run game
* Rarely sustains blocks against legitimate edge talent
3. MIKE GESICKI
Penn State 6054 | 247 lbs. | SR. Manahawkin, N.J. (Southern Regional) 10/3/1995 (age 22.6) #88
A four-star tight end recruit out of high school, Michael “Mike” Gesicki (Guh-sick-E) was a three-sport performer at Southern Regional, earning 12 varsity letters in football, basketball and volleyball (received collegiate scholarship offers in all three sports). He finished his career as the school’s all-time leading receiver in football (103 catches for 1,817 yards and 16 touchdowns) and all-time leading scorer in basketball (1,867 points), earning 2013 New Jersey Player of the Year honors. A top-five recruit in the state of New Jersey (behind players like Jabrill Peppers and Quenton Nelson), Gesicki narrowed his college choice to Penn State and Ohio State, choosing the Nittany Lions. Due to scholarship restrictions, he couldn’t redshirt in 2014 and recorded 11 catches for 114 yards as a true freshman. Gesicki became a regular starter as a sophomore and posted 13 catches for 125 yards and one touchdown. He led the Big Ten in receptions (48) by a tight end in 2016, adding 679 yards and five touchdowns to earn All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors. Gesicki returned for his senior season and led the team with 57 catches and nine touchdowns, earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors. He accepted his invitation to the 2018 Senior Bowl.
Long-striding athlete to out-pace defenders…flexible hips/joints to release and make sharp cuts…springs in his legs to high-point and clean glass…uses his long arms to extend his catch radius, providing a large strike zone for the quarterback…natural ball skills and dexterity…contorts his body mid-air to make acrobatic adjustments on the football…excellent reflexes and spatial awareness along the sideline…stems defenders to leverage routes, displaying cadence in his steps…masterful job slow-selling blocks before releasing downfield…uses his frame as a get-in-the-way blocker…earned Academic All-Big Ten honors three times and graduated with his degree in advertising and public relations (Dec. 2017)…holds almost every Penn State career record for a tight end, including catches (129), receiving yards (1,481) and touchdowns (15).
Tall and long, but very lean and doesn’t have the frame to add considerable bulk…lacks NFL functional strength and will struggle to out-physical most defensive backs…delivers pop as a blocker, but lacks the necessary power or grip strength to sustain…below average on-the-move efficiency…overmatched on the edges by edge rushers…has second thoughts when attempting to make plays over the middle…didn’t miss significant time due to injury, but lack of body armor leads to durability concerns… has added 25-pounds since high school, but is likely maxed out physically…averaged under 10-yards per catch as a senior with only two plays of 30+ yards in 2017.
A three-year starter at Penn State, Gesicki lined up mostly in the slot and in the backfield as a “F” tight end in Joe Moorhead’s offense, which incorporated multiple run-pass options for the quarterback to get the ball in the hands of either Gesicki or running back Saquon Barkley. An accomplished volleyball and basketball player in high school, he is a graceful big man with the hops and reliable hands to help move the sticks (of his 57 catches as a senior, 33 of them went for a first down or touchdown). As a run blocker or inline player, he has obvious limitations due to below average play strength to sustain or control the point of attack. Overall, Gesicki is more of an oversized wideout than traditional tight end and his combination of length, leaping skills and body control makes him a mismatch weapon in the NFL, who can consistently attack the ball outside his frame.
GRADE: 2nd Round (#51 overall)
• Hauled in four touchdowns out of the slot, third-most among FBS tight ends.
• Uses his long frame to attack the ball. Good body control to adjust to offtarget throws.
• Caught 75 percent of contested targets (9-for-12), best in the nation among tight ends.
• Long strides allow him to glide down the field.
• Inconsistent getting in and out of horizontal routes, but will flash some wiggle at the top of routes.
• Ranked 31st in the nation with 1.51 yards per route in 2017.
• Dropped 14 of 146 catchable targets in his career.
• Had one of the best weeks of practice among tight ends at the Senior Bowl.
Gesicki’s length stands out as he can get up the seam and he uses his frame to make off-target and contested catches. He can be a weapon in the middle of the field, but like many of the tight ends in this class, he’ll have to be used in the right role in the run game. He struggles as an in-line blocker, but was capable enough when asked to block on the move. Gesicki is a mid-tier tight end in this class and he can work well with an aggressive quarterback willing to give him opportunities to win in tight windows.
• Tall and long. Good athlete with flexibility. Sure-handed; can adjust to the ball and makes the difficult catch. Has good flexibility to grab low throws and targets behind him. Good
route runner who can uncover versus man or zone. Flashes some run-aftercatch ability. Very productive as a shortrange receiver.
• Lacks strength and bulk, especia lly in the lower body. Lean frame. Constantly gives ground when trying to pass block. No pop on contact. Overall blocking ability is very average.One-speed guy without a top burst.
WAY WE SEE IT
• Three-year starter for Penn State and had a very productive career with 129 total receptions and 15 touchdowns. Lines up mostly flexed out
Many expected Dallas Goedert to be the next tight end taken, but the Dolphins did extensive homework on both men and determined they wanted the receiving-oriented Gesicki. Head coach Adam Gase loves to flex his tight ends out wide, all alone on the weak side. Having a big jump-ball winner out there can do wonders for this offense.
He lit up the combine (first among tight ends in every event except for the bench press, in which he was second), though that athleticism doesn’t always show up on tape. Gesicki has the speed to get up the seam, but he never showed the ability to consistently create separation at the college level. He is outstanding in contested-catch situations though. He’s a non-factor as a blocker.
Rob Rang after the pick:
Reviewing earlier pick... @Dolphins are going to love Mike Gesicki. In era in which the term "mismatch nightmare" is thrown about, he truly is one. Terrific body and speed to be a legitimate downfield weapon. My top-rated TE and it won't take long in the NFL for you to see why.
12/17/17 - 2017 ALL-BIG TEN SECOND TEAM (COACHES): TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State,...First-team all-conference selection by the media and second-team All-Big Ten choice by the coaches...Earns second All-Big Ten honor of his career after an appearance on the second team (coaches & media) last season...Is the first Nittany Lion tight end to earn All-Big Ten first team accolades since Kyle Carter in 2012...Selected as one of three finalists for the Mackey Award...Ranked third among FBS tight ends in touchdown receptions (9)... Had at least one reception in 26-straight games to cap his career…
Star running back Saquon Barkley might have earned most of the attention at Penn State but in terms of historical numbers and mismatch ability, Gesicki took a back seat to no one, leaving Happy Valley as simply the school's all-time leader in receptions (129), receiving yards (1,481) and receiving touchdowns (15), among tight ends.
A phenomenal prep athlete who earned 12 letters in three different sports, Gesicki isn't used to sharing the spotlight and it didn't take him long to steal it for the Nittany Lions. He emerged as a starter as a true freshman, splitting duty with Adam Brenneman (himself a 2018 NFL prospect who wound up transferring to Massachusetts), catching at least one pass in eight of 13 games in his first season on campus and building upon his production as a sophomore, despite inconsistent play from then-starting quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
While Gesicki had shown flashes his first two years on campus, he broke out in a big way as a junior, leading all Big Ten tight ends with 48 receptions for what wound up being a career-high 679 receiving yards, as well as five touchdowns. He earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors for his success in part because of his gaudy 14.9 yard per catch average as well as developing a reputation for making acrobatic catches, including for touchdowns against Michigan State, Wisconsin and USC in the Rose Bowl to cap the season.
As it turns out, Gesicki's junior campaign was just preview of things to come. He shattered the school's single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end by hauling in nine among his career-high 57 passes for 563 yards. Gesiscki, who was named First Team All-Big Ten by the media (Second Team by the coaches) was one of three finalists for the Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end and lived up to his billing with a splashy showing during the Senior Bowl, emerging as arguably the biggest mismatch in the passing game invited at the prestigious all-star game, regardless of position.
Was one of the nation's most highly-touted tight end prospects after earning four varsity letters for coach Chuck Donahue at Southern Regional High School...Ended his superlative career as the Rams' all-time leading receiver with 1,817 yards on 103 receptions, with 16 touchdown catches...As a senior, made 33 catches for 530 yards and four scores to garner Under Armour All-America, all-state and first-team All-Shore honors...Played in the U.S. Army All-American Game following his senior season...His junior season featured a NJSIAA state runner-up finish and 50 catches for 954 yards and nine TDs...Named first-team All-Shore as a junior... Rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports and a three-star prospect by ESPN...Rated as the top tight end recruit in the class of 2014 by 247Sports and was a Top 15 tight end prospect nationally according to ESPN, Rivals and Scout...Also was rated a Top 15 recruit in the state of New Jersey by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports...A prep basketball and volleyball standout, earning a total of 12 letters in the three sports...Ended his career as the Rams' all-time leading scorer in basketball (1,867 points)...Named MVP of the East/West Basketball All-Star Game and was the champion of the 2014 state dunk contest...Helped Southern Regional to the NJSIAA State Championship...Was named the 2013 New Jersey Player of the Year.
Gesicki offers rare coordination and acceleration for a man of with his dimensions, which includes a prototypical blend of height, long arms (34") and a tapered, athletic frame. He glides off the snap, smoothly accelerating into his route and showing excellent body control and savvy as a route-runner at the stem to shake safeties, consistently creating separation. Gesicki scoops the ball with natural hands, never allowing it inside to his pads or to where the defender might be able to reach around him to bat it away. He possesses impressive flexibility for a tight end, showing a huge catch radius with catches hauled thrown low, high and outside, including behind him. He can contort in the air to make the circus catch and shows very good agility, leaping ability and competitiveness to generate yards after the reception, lowering his shoulder and keeping his legs driving through contact. While lacking prototypical size for an in-line role, Gesicki's competitiveness also comes into play as a blocker. He is alert and physical at the point of attack, bending at the knees and looking to initiate contact and working to sustain. -- Rob Rang 2/2/2018
Gesicki could be seen as a bit of a 'tweener as he does not possess the strength to consistently create movement at the point of attack as an in-line blocker and, while a smooth accelerator, may not possess the straight-line speed preferred as a full-time receiver. He was rarely pressed at the college level and will need to work on gaining a clean release with many of his touches manufactured out of the wing... Though he has no known injury concerns, Gesicki possesses a relatively gangly frame and shows no fear in leaping and contorting in space, leaving his long limbs in danger of some ugly hits which could result in injury. - Rob Rang 2/2/2018
Zach Ertz, Eagles - This isn't a perfect comparison because at 6-5, 250 pounds Ertz has a little bit more of a traditional compact tight end frame and Gesicki is both longer and more agile. What makes them similar is more important than what makes them different, however. Each possess the athleticism and route-running savvy to consistently create separation (whether split wide, in-line or on the wing), as well as soft hands and enough strength and competitiveness to help as blockers. Like Ertz, (picked 35th overall in 2013), Gesicki is a likely Day Two pick who may wind up playing like a first rounder.
IN OUR VIEW
Gesicki did most of his work as a massive slot receiver or on the wing but also saw out of the traditional in-line position. Regardless of where he lined up, his ability to create separation and haul in passes made him a matchup nightmare for opponents. The savviest route-runner of this year's tight end class, don't be surprised when Gesicki hears his name called (and enjoys success in the NFL) earlier than most project.