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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

NFL Draft Scouting Report: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

Mike Gesicki - Penn State Nittany Lions

 

Position: Tight End
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 247
Year: Senior
Hometown: Manahawkin, NJ
Experience: 3 year starter

 

Measurables:

40yd dash: 4.54
Broad jump: 129.0
Vertical: 41.5
3-cone: 6.76
20yd. Shuttle: 4.1
Bench Press: 22

 

Career Notes:

Gesicki was a steady improver over his career at Penn State. He spent his first two seasons earning more reps and game action, and ended up starting eight of the Nittany Lions’ 12 games as a sophomore. His patience paid off during his junior and senior seasons, when he broke the single-season school record for receptions by a tight end.

His junior year, he finished with 48 catches -- breaking Andrew Quarless’ old record of 41 -- for 679 yards and five touchdowns. His final year at Penn State, he further improved his numbers by notching 57 catches and nine touchdowns.

Gesicki’s junior and senior seasons earned him a spot on the Mackey Award finalist list as well as a selection to the Sports Illustrated midseason All-America team in 2017. He was used in a variety of ways in his collegiate offense, lining up as an H-back, as an in-line tight end and split out as a receiver. Although he was functional wherever he was asked to line up, Gesicki is clearly more comfortable in space, where he’s able to utilize his superb athletic gifts.

A former high school basketball player, his athletic prowess is undeniable. Gesicki scored either best or second-best among tight ends in every major combine measureable. He even won a slam dunk competition in high school, and some of those skills became evident on the football field. His long, slender body type is more typical of a basketball player, and he’ll need to gain weight and strength to be a true multi-faceted threat in the next level.

 

Injury Report: 

Gesicki was pulled from the Indiana game in 2017 with an unknown injury, but he didn’t miss any starts because of it.

 

2017 Stats: 57 receptions, 563 yards, 9.9 yards per reception, 9 TD

Career Stats:  

 

Analysis:

Speed/Quickness: 5.0/5.0

Gesicki is a long strider who closes a defender’s cushion quickly and effortlessly. His combine numbers show he’s the most athletic tight end in this class without much debate, and his game tape backs it up.

In addition to his excellent speed and agility testing, he was by far the most explosive tight end at the combine, producing vertical jump and broad jump results that far exceeded his peers’. This ability shone especially his senior year, where he was targeted in the end zone with goal-line fades and by outrunning defenders after the catch.

If there’s one tight end in the 2018 class who can stretch defenses and put linebackers in a pickle during play action, it’s Gesicki.

Route Running: 4.0/5.0

Gesicki is a pretty fluid athlete who changes directions well for someone his size. His junior-year tape shows some clunkiness on routes, but he was much better about this his senior year. He displayed good football intelligence while running routes, finding the soft spots in zones and ensuring his routes were at or beyond the first-down sticks.

Because of the versatility of where he lined up, he has experience running a variety of routes. He will likely be used to stretch the middle of the field a little more in the NFL, but he showed the ability to run routes both in traffic and on the outside, one-on-one. Perhaps his best skill is his ability to adjust mid-route, catching off-target throws and make spectacular grabs on back-shoulder throws and fades.

He was relatively easy to jam at the line, so he’ll need to work on his upper body strength and improve his release techniques. This is one reason the Nittany Lions liked to flex him out against smaller defenders, and NFL coordinators will likely do the same. He’ll have some work to do before he can free himself up against jams from NFL linebackers and defensive ends.

Hands: 4.5/5.0

He displays good hands, overall, and is capable of making contested catches in traffic. Gesicki shows soft hands even while making acrobatic catches, showing some of that basketball background that NFL personnel executives have come to covet in tight ends. He simply looks natural while catching the ball with hands that measure over 10 inches wide.

YAC Ability: 2.5/5.0

He simply needs to be more physical in every facet of his game, but definitely while running with the ball after the catch. Perhaps his slender frame hinders him here a bit, but he’s long-legged and relatively easy to tackle when defenders catch up with him.

Although he lacks that Jeremy Shockey or Rob Gronkowski tenacity when running after the catch, his straight-line speed allows him to take defenders by surprise and ruin pursuit angles. His speed alone allows him to gobble up any empty space in front of him, even if he’s unlikely to break many tackles once defenders get him cornered.

Blocking: 2.0/5.0

This is where Gesicki really struggles. He was a detriment to his team’s running game in college, and the physicality of NFL edge defenders will make things very difficult for him.

In addition to lacking the requisite strength to move defenders in the running game, Gesicki just seems uninterested in the collisions involved in blocking. On zone plays, he shows a functional understanding of angles, an ability to get in the way and a decent feel for cut blocking. But when asked to act as a lead blocker or create push on the goal line, he really struggled. In H-back sets, he would often slow his momentum just before the point of attack when asked to be a lead blocker.

He’ll have to make dramatic improvement if he wants to be much more than an oversized receiver at the next level.

Overall Grade: 3.60/5.0

Gesicki is a tremendous receiving talent, showing improvement throughout his college career and displaying elite size and athleticism. He’ll need to be split out wide and used creatively at first, although his frame should allow him to add weight and strength, allowing him to be a dangerous, versatile pro. His ceiling may come down to his willingness to be more physical as a blocker so he can stay on the field all game.  

 

If drafted by the Packers:

He would immediately diversify Mike McCarthy’s passing offense. His early NFL role will likely be that of a specialist on passing downs, in the slot and in the red zone as a wide receiver. In other words, he seems to be a redundancy after the Jimmy Graham signing, but it’s possible his youth and potential would make him a target for the Packers, who still may be looking for tight end help.

It seems like the 14th pick would be a bit of a stretch for Gesicki, but he’s not a surefire first-round pick, so he’s worth keeping an eye on in the second round or if GM Brian Gutekunst makes some trades.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (12) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

John Kirk's picture

I'll say this about Geisicki and Penn State players in general. I would heavily weigh the thought of potential PED's with those guys in Happy Valley. Barkley's transformation is about as plausible as Clay's was and Gesicki and Hamilton are just as questionable if not moreso.

More than something in the water down there.

Community Guy's picture

the thought had occurred to me that those Penn State guys seem to athletically perform significantly above average. i have no inside information; however, i would speculate either: a way above average training program there, or, juicing.

PackfanNY's picture

Pretty serious allegation, yet you offer no proof. Nice way to slander someone without evidence.

stockholder's picture

This kid is the first TE off the board.

DD's picture

Great TE. Drafthim, trade all TE but Graham. New start.

Jonathan Spader's picture

The only other TE under contract is Kendricks who is barely above 2 mil. Keep him and Graham. See how the draft goes if you can nab this guy in the 2nd round it's a steal. We need more help on defense at #14. If he's gone get another TE like Fumagali amd see if tou can resign RR to a cheap contract around the veteran's minimum.

4thand10's picture

This is the tight end I would like to see us/ the Pack draft. He can run, catch and I do believe he can block if taught technique. A very quick smart player. I think he's got a future

Tundraboy's picture

I wish.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

There are a number of people who believe the Packers should select a WR with their pick 14; usually those people name Ridley. I'd offer, that if the Packers use #14 on a receiver, I'd much rather it be on Gesicki. He's pretty much a Graham clone, and that's not a bad thing! He may not be much of a blocker of DEs, but he'd be great blocking DBs and LBs, and how many defenses could cover two 6'6" receivers, D Adams, and Monty at the same time?
I'd still prefer James/VanderEsch/Davenport/Landry, but I'd be fine with Gesicki at 14.

cheddarhead's picture

What about Fumagali from Wisconsin.

CheesyTex's picture

Super pick -- in the fourth round.

garyyannone's picture

I am looking forward to the 2018 season and here are just a few comments on the 2018 NFL Draft:

If there ever was a need for a strong
BAP for the Packers, the 2018 NFL Draft first round/second may be it. There are a lot of projections in the first round of multiple quarterbacks taken. If things get crazy and the board falls apart and Saquon Barkley (RB PS) magically is still there at #14, we need to draft him. Possibly a more likely case, but BAP nonetheless, is Lamar Jackson (QB Louisville) slipping to #14. As with the case with Barkley I believe we need to draft him. If neither of those two cases occur, then we can go need and select one of the DE, Edge, or CBs discussed.
I agree with Matt Kelley that we need to select Mike Gesicki (TE PS) with our 2nd round #45 pick. He is the BAP.
Additionally, we could strengthen our TE group with selecting Ian Thomas (TE Indiana) with our #150 pick.
This years Penn State Draft Class/Prospects also offers other picks of value. Jason Cabinda (LB) at #118 Marcus Allen (FS) at #133 and Toy Apke (SS) as a #239 pick.

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