Tuesday, December 1, 2020

How Mike Gesicki Can Grow In 2020 and Beyond

Mike Gesicki was the 42nd overall pick for the Miami Dolphins in the 2018 NFL Draft. The tight end was picked by Miami after four seasons in Penn State, where he caught 15 touchdown passes and recorded 1,481 yards in his time in college.

Mike Gesicki was seen to be the fix in the tight end position after the Miami tight end room failing to impress in 2017.

He struggled in his rookie year, recording just 202 yards and 0 touchdowns in his debut season in the NFL under then head coach Adam Gase.

Mike Gesicki during his rookie year.

However, Mike Gesicki saw an improvement in his performances in his 2019 sophomore year. With 570 receiving yards, the tight end more than doubled his receiving yards from the previous year and recorded 5 touchdowns, which is 5 more than he accomplished in 2018.

It was clear how much more faith head coach Brian Flores had in 2019 then Adam Gase did in 2018. Gesicki also ranked 12th in the league in 2019 for receptions with 51, which is over double the 22 he had in 2018. Once again, this shows the faith shown by Flores.

The question now arises as to how Mike Gesicki can improve in 2020 going forward.

Thanks to the likes of Rob Gronkowski, the tight end position has evolved a lot in the 21st century, with tight ends now expected to do more than just block. 2019 saw three tight ends catch for over 1,000 receiving yards.

These three were Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs (1,229), Darren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders (1,145) and George Kittle of the San Francisco  49ers (1,053). This is where Mike Gesicki needs to get to if he wants to truly elevate his game. 

George Kittle one of the best tight ends in the NFL.

Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens (852) and Zach Ertz of the Philadelphia Eagles (916) were just off the 1,000 yard mark but both made up for it with their receiving touchdowns.

Andrews recorded 10 touchdown receptions and Ertz recorded 6. These are another example of how tight ends now need to do a lot more than just block. A tight end is now expected to be able to catch balls for possession as well as scoring touchdowns. This is again where Gesicki needs to look to be alongside when it comes to his stats each season.

Mike Gesicki was ranked the 12th best tight end in 2019 for receiving yards and 11th for his 5 touchdown receptions. He will need to become a lot more of an option on the offence if he is to become one of the league’s best. His 51 receptions were 46 less than those of reception leader Super Bowl Champion tight end Travis Kelce (97).

New quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is a chance for the former Penn State man to become an elite level tight end. Gesicki is a good tight end but for me, improvements need to be made.

Ryan Fitzpatrick appeared to use him more than Ryan Tannehill did, but Fitzpatrick turns 38 in November and does not have a lot of years left in the NFL.

Gesicki and Fitzpatrick after Gesicki’s game 17 winning touchdown in 2019 against New England.

Therefore, Gesicki will need to learn to play with Tua and make sure they get a good connection going. It remains a stretch to say they could have a Brady and Gronk style relationship but if they were even to have half the success that those two did, then Miami Dolphins fans will be happy.

Gescki appears to have the strength and physicality that is needed from a tight end. He just needs to work on turning himself from a good tight end to a great one.

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