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NFL Rookie Watch: Miami Dolphins Tight End Mike Gesicki
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13 Jun 2018 01:59 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Miami Dolphins second-round pick tight end Mike Gesicki. (Image Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Throughout the offseason, we will take a look at several rookies who will begin their NFL careers in 2018, continuing with tight end Mike Gesicki of the Miami Dolphins:

2018 NFL Draft: Round 2; Pick 10 (42nd Overall), Penn State

Measurables: The Nittany Lion has ideal length for a tight end at 6’5 ½” with very long arms (34 1/8”), a massive wingspan (82 1/8”), and extremely large hands (10 ¼”), which will all serve him well as a pass catcher, as well as in the trenches. However, at just 247 pounds he’s light and lacks bulk, undersized for the position with decent upper-body strength (22 bench press reps). Gesicki is also an athletic freak. His 40 time (4.54), vertical jump (41 ½”), broad jump (129”), three-cone time (6.76), short shuttle (4.10), and long shuttle (11.33) all…yes all topped the tight ends at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Skill Set: Fast, athletic, quick with the agility to change directions, the ability to go up and get the football, explosiveness out of his stance, you might build Gesicki in a lab if you were looking for a pass-catching tight end. Runs smooth routes and can simply blow by linebackers, as well as provide his quarterback with a tremendous catch radius. Excels at beating man coverage, as well as finding spots against zone defenses. His experience on the hardwood is evident when he boxes out defenders and is able to high point the football. Doesn’t just rely on physical ability, as Gesicki uses fakes and deception to get open with arguably the most reliable hands of any prospect in this class. There are serious concerns about his blocking, both in the run game and against edge rushers. Gesicki needs to get bigger and stronger, as well as improve on his technique.

OTAs: Working with fellow rookie tight end Durham Smythe, Gesicki is putting in the time to learn the Miami offense. That means mastering plays and the assignments within each play, not just their own but all the players, as well as potential adjustments. “We’re just trying to simulate the huddle and simulate knowing everything on the fly and not just your job, but knowing everybody’s job because I know for me, personally, I’ve got to know the Y, the F, the H, the X, the Z,” Gesicki said (per the Sun-Sentinel). “I’ve got to be able to go anywhere and everywhere. There’s a lot to know. There’s a lot to learn.” Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is impressed with his intelligence and calls him unique due to his athleticism. “We’ve got to find out exactly what he can and can’t do and what he can and can’t handle early. As the season goes and the offseason goes and training camp, his package will expand and his routes will expand.”

Rookie Watch: Bradley Chubb | Mason Rudolph |

2018 Outlook: It really depends on how quickly Gesicki picks up the blocking schemes and develops in pass protection. Like many rookie tight ends, he’s behind the learning curve when competing with veterans. The NFL asks a lot more of the position than Gesicki was assigned at PSU. Judging by Gesicki learning five different positions in the Dolphins offense (Y, F, H, X, Z), Miami plans to use him all over the field in the pass gaming. As an in-line tight end, a move tight end, lined up wide as a receiver, probably out of the slot as well, maybe even some H-back. There are six tight ends competing for three spots (likely). Gesicki is a lock to make the team, but where he ends up on the depth chart depends on how he develops between now and through the season. Expect him to contribute mostly on passing downs early on in his rookie campaign and for his role to grow as he learns to handle the more complex duties.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.

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