Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki has a great 2020 season in a campaign that was surrounded by quarterback controversy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Super Bowl 55, Rob Gronkowski proved the importance of a team having a great tight end. The position is often seen as a hybrid, with the need to be able to block as well as contribute with the ball in their hands.
After a brilliant season in 2020, here is why Gesicki proved he is one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL.
Difficult First Season In The NFL
The Miami Dolphins drafted tight end Mike Gesicki 42nd overall during the 2018 NFL Draft.
After nine touchdowns during his final college season with Penn State in 2017, Dolphins head coach at the time Adam Gase took a chance on Gesicki in the second round of the draft.
There was plenty of excitement from fans to see what Gesicki could do in his rookie season but he struggled during the 2018 season, with 0 touchdowns and just 202 receiving yards.
Plenty of calls for being a ‘bust’ were aimed at Gesicki. With just 22 receptions in the league that year, Gesicki was 41st in the NFL for receptions.
Looking back at that season, an argument can be made for Gesicki not fitting the system. He would prove in 2019 and 2020 to be another player who would have a better career once they are away from the head coaching of Adam Gase.
Ryan Tannehill, Kenyan Drake and DeVante Parker are just some of the players that have seen strides of improvement without Adam Gase as their head coach.
Improvement And Optimism All Round During 2019
2019 was predicted to be a difficult season for Miami on the field and it certainly was for the first half of the season. The same can be same for Gesicki.
Miami started the season 0-7 before two consecutive wins over the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts in weeks 9 and 10.
Gesicki didn’t get a touchdown in 2019 until the week 12 loss to the Cleveland Browns. He would then go on a great run of form down the stretch as the Dolphins ended the season 5-11.
Including the game against the Browns, Gesicki recorded five touchdowns and 276 receiving yards in the final six games of the season.
His best game of the 2019 season came in the Week 16 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals, with two touchdowns and 82 receiving yards. However, his most memorable performance came in the Week 17 clash with AFC East rivals the New England Patriots.
Gesicki recorded just 34 receiving yards from a lowly 4 receptions but scored the game-winning touchdown late on in the fourth quarter. This would result in New England moving from second to the third seed, meaning they would have to play in the Wildcard Round rather than have a first-round bye. The Patriots suffered a shock defeat to the Tennessee Titans on Wildcard Weekend.
Both Gesicki and the Miami Dolphins had a great end to the season and gave fans room for optimism going into 2020.
2020 And The Rise Of Mike Gesicki
Improvement was made in the 2019 season but the 2020 season was when Gesicki truly showed his capability to play in the NFL.
Gesicki took until week 12 to score a touchdown in 2019 but scored two touchdowns in the first three weeks of the 2020 NFL season. He recorded his best single-game receiving yards total during the Week 2 loss to the Buffalo Bills, tallying up 130 receiving yards.
He became a trusted target for both Miami quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa and ended the season with six touchdowns, including two against the Kansas City Chiefs in the 33-27 loss, 703 yards and 53 receptions.
So why is no-one talking about Gesicki other than Dolphins fans?
Gesicki doesn’t get the numbers of the likes of Travis Kelce and George Kittle and Darren Waller but this is because he is not getting the receptions that they get.
It was quite often the case during the 2020 season, that Gesicki would not be getting a huge amount of receptions but when he did, he would make an impact.
Along with his infectious personality, he has gone on to become one of the top two offensive targets for the Dolphins quarterbacks.
Whether it’s Tua or Deshaun Watson as the starting quarterback in the 2021 season, they should look to use Gesicki as one of their main targets to throw the ball to.
Gesicki has shown great progress year on year for the Miami Dolphins and has every capability to become one of the league’s top three tight ends.