When the Miami Dolphins drafted Tight End Mike Gesicki out of Penn State in the 2nd Round of the 2018 NFL Draft, many Dolphins fans had high expectations going in to his rookie season. The Dolphins had struggled to get a receiving threat from the TE position since Charles Clay had left following the 2014 season.
At the 2018 NFL Combine Gesicki had wowed all present with his measurables and athletic prowess. This included a 4.54 seconds recording in the 40 Yard Dash that would not be bettered by any TE at the combine that year.
Mike Gesicki, 6’6″ and 250lbs, however, struggled somewhat in his rookie season and, targeted only 32 times, amassed 202 yards on 22 catches and had no touchdowns. These were disappointing numbers considering the Dolphins team didn’t have a clear offensive weapon from the TE position.
Reasons for the struggles of Mike Gesicki?
A major and valid reason for Gesicki’s struggles in his rookie year could be that he was entirely misused in the Dolphins offense. Gesicki was known for his ability to create mismatches down the field with a combination of size and speed while at Penn State. Head coach and offensive play-caller Adam Gase instead asked the rookie tight end to block on 19.5% of his 399 snaps, more than any other player at the position in the 2018 season.
In the 2019 season Gesicki, being utilized more effectively by the coaching staff, saw an upturn in receiving statistics across the board. 51 catches for 570 yards and 5 touchdowns saw Gesicki sit just outside the top ten in all major receiving statistics at the position.
Being used more as a receiver down the field, Mike Gesicki struck up a rapport on the field with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick often threw the ball giving Gesicki the opportunity to ‘go up and get it’. This paid dividends for the Dolphins as all 5 of Gesicki’s touchdowns came in the final 6 weeks of last season, including a game winning score against the New England Patriots in Week 17.
With no new major additions to the TE room ahead of the 2020 season, expect Mike Gesicki to again be the main offensive threat from the position. The Dolphins will hope to see continued improvement going into Gesicki’s third season and if that happens, they could have a potentially special player on their hands.