No player had a more valuable showing at the NFL Combine than Mike Gesicki. Sure, Saquon Barkley blew everyone away with his 41 inch vertical and 4.40 forty yard dash, but we already knew he was a certified freak. When Gesicki finished his track meet like Vernon Davis, every scout did a double take. A former basketball/volleyball athlete, Gesicki starred in every drill. Combined with his reputation as a red zone dominator, this is a tremendous start to a prospect profile. How does he project in composite? Let’s dive in:
Career: 129 receptions, 1481 yards (11.5 YPC), 15 TDs
2017: 57 receptions, 563 yards (9.9 YPC), 9 TDs
Nothing of note
Accolades and off-field notes
Played football, volleyball, and basketball in high school; a four star recruit, set the record for career points on his school’s basketball team
2017 Mackey Award finalist (for best tight end in college football)
Senior Bowl invitee
6 feet 5.5 inches tall, 247 pounds, 10.25 inch hands, 34.125 inch arms
4.54 forty yard dash (92nd percentile for tight ends)
41.5″ vertical leap (98th percentile)
129″ broad jump (96th percentile)
6.76 three cone drill (98th percentile)
4.10 short shuttle (95th percentile)
11.33 60 yard shuttle (96th percentile)
22 bench press reps (65th percentile)
Mike Gesicki is a once-in-a-generation combination of size and athletic ability at the tight end position. His traits will make him a dangerous red zone weapon from day one, and he could potentially develop a career like the 6’7” 260 pound Jimmy Graham. As a senior, Gesicki dominated the red zone market share on his team, scoring nine touchdowns in that space, and he led the nation in receptions and yards in the red zone.
Gesicki, who’s been used as a slot receiver, tight end, and wingback, has excellent body control. He can adjust to and bring in some difficult contested catches, and has incredible vertical reach for throws.
Off the line, Gesicki has a few different releases, and he incorporates shoulder fakes and stutter steps into his stems as he runs his routes. While I saw Gesicki run a fairly diverse route tree at Penn State, his route running is still a work in progress. He noticeably throttles down into cuts on his longer stems, which is a route refinement issue. He doesn’t consistently run with a plan in mind on his routes. On tape, though, you can see his flexibility and comfort with crossover steps and quicker cuts.
Gesicki has the long speed to be a deep threat up the seam. He separates with ease against linebackers on underneath routes. If he develops his routes, then he’ll be a major offensive weapon. Running after the catch, Gesicki has the size and speed to stretch catches into an extra 20 yards under the right circumstances. He doesn’t run with strong leg drive, and his first instinct against contact is to dive forward, so he’s fairly straightforward to tackle if you can catch him.
Gesicki’s blocking is disappointing. He has a thinner build than a prototypical blocking tight end, and he just doesn’t have good hand placement. In fact, he’ll often lead with a shoulder.
When he does get his hands on a defender, he doesn’t sustain for long or generate a powerful strike. Gesicki does generally block the correct man in the correct gap while pass protecting, but he doesn’t have a reliable anchor, and is a liability in that department.
Gesicki played in a loaded offense with an inaccurate QB, but still dominated in the red zone. While parts of his game need a lot of polish, there’s no question that he’ll be a mismatch from day one, and his talent could shine if his team values his contributions as a receiver. I have him graded at a 4.88, which places him just outside the first round. While he’s a stellar athlete, he doesn’t provide much value as a blocker, and I didn’t see a dominant run-after-catch ability like previous first round selections, such as David Njoku and Evan Engram. Still, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a team bet on his potential in the first round of the draft.