DAVIE – The Miami Dolphins had a hole at tight end after cutting eight-year veteran Julius Thomas. The Dolphins added another target for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, selecting 6-foot-6, 247 pound Mike Gesicki out of Penn State in Round 2 of the 2018 NFL draft.
Gesicki was a three-sport athlete at Manahawkin Southern Regional High School in New Jersey. He competed in volleyball, basketball and football, breaking school records in each sport. His 1,866 career points in basketball 103, receptions and 1,817 yards on the gridiron, in addition to his 519 blocks as a middle blocker in volleyball are all top marks at Manahawkin Southern Regional High School.
Gesicki went on to record 129 receptions, 1,481 yards and 15 touchdowns in his four-year career at Penn State and he credits his athleticism for his college production.
“My history playing sports, whether it be football, basketball, volleyball… it’s all given me an opportunity to be who I am today,” Gesicki said.
General manager Chris Grier named traits such as leadership and competiveness as reasons for selecting Gesicki, but his athleticism was most intriguing for the Dolphins front office.
“He’s a hard match-up for people,” Grier said. “Being that big and athletic, he can move the chains on third down and then the speed can open up other stuff on the field for you. So it’s just a lot of possibilities, and [coach Adam Gase] has had players in the past as you know have had big seasons for him. He had Julius [Thomas] as you know, when he was young coming out, kind of the same thing, basketball player, so we’re very excited to have him.”
Gesicki is freakishly athletic. He trained at EXOS with the Dolphins first-round draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick and was able to turn in a 4.54 40-yard dash and a 41.5” vertical at the NFL Combine. While he possesses supreme athleticism for the position, he admitted that he must improve as a run blocker.
“I definitely need to continue to improve my run blocking. …Obviously my best attribute is in the passing game and I need to develop in the other side, but it’s something that I’m so excited about and I have great coaching there and I’m really excited to get to work and do what I know how to do.”
Despite his shortcomings as a blocker, Gesicki will have every opportunity to come in and win and win the starting tight end spot in Miami. The Dolphins will be able to get mismatches with him routinely, and his ability in the passing game will easily offset his inability to generate a surge as a run blocker.