Name: Mike Gesicki
Position: Tight End
School: Penn State
Projected Round: 3-4
In this 2018 draft, Gesicki may be the most athletic tight end of the group. A superb football, basketball and volleyball player in high school, Gesicki uses his freak athleticism and body to make plays all over the field. If you are looking for a tight end that has the ability to stretch the field, Gesicki is your guy.
Gesicki is as athletic as they come, and he uses his multiple sport background to his advantage. He has a great release from the tight end position, establishing an early advantage vertically over opposing linebackers covering him in space. Gesicki shows good change of hips and speed when making second and third moves on a route. He can high point and catch the ball in the air and adjusts to the ball well. His rangy frame and athleticism create a giant catch radius. Gesicki also catches everything and had a low drop percentage in college.
At this point, Gesicki looks more like a basketball player than a tight end. He is lanky with not much mass. As a result, he is not a factor at all blocking in the running game. Simply put, he has to improve his blocking strength and hand use. Teams’ interest in him is not as strong as his receiving potential would suggest due to his one-dimensional play style. Gesicki also has to prove he can adjust to physical play. He can be susceptible to jams at the line of scrimmage.
It is no secret that the Vikings have been searching for an athletic tight to compliment Kyle Rudolph. However, they have not fielded great results. Mycole Pruitt and Bucky Hodges have been some of the latest names that have not panned out for this role.
With the hiring of John DeFilippo to run the Vikings offense, the tight end should remain a focus. DeFilippo comes from Philadelphia, where versatility at tight end was the engine that made the offense run. He used Zach Ertz as his playmaker and Trey Burton as his stretch the field tight end option. Rudolph can be his version of Ertz. But he still needs a Burton type of player, which is why Gesicki fits the bill.
Although Gesicki is a no-show in the run game right now, that may not be an issue for the Vikings. They have Rudolph and David Morgan as their hand in the ground tight ends. With Gesicki, the Vikings can move him around and use him to stretch the defense. While he will have to add strength and mass, the Vikings would be drafting him as a receiving tight end.
If he is available anytime in the third round on, he would seem to be an upgrade for this offense. With some other apparent needs to be addressed earlier in the draft, Gesicki in the third or fourth round would be a good value pick.
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