Adam Gase wanted a unique type of weapon in 2018. The Dolphins has some playmakers at the wideout position, and the offense had established some consistency with Tannehill and Kenyan Drake, but there was something missing. A tight end. A threatening force who would bend the defense to an offensive playcaller’s will, someone who could open up the middle of the field and pose as a threat in the red zone.
In the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, with two highly touted prospects on the board, Chris Grier decided on Mike Gesicki. As we jump to the present moment, the other of the options, Philadelphia Eagles’ Dallas Goedert has made a name for himself. His ability to not only be a safety blanket for Wentz but also dangerous with the ball in his hands has allowed him to carve a role in the offense as a complement to Pro Bowler Zach Ertz.
I’m here to tell you that Mike Gesicki was still the right choice.
After a poor start to his career, many felt that Miami had made the wrong move. Members of both the local and national media, as well as fans, quickly gave up on the then 23 year old’s potential without considering the most important factor, context.
Gesicki is a special talent. His frame, 6’6 and 250 pounds, make him a matchup nightmare. Moreover, his body shape and natural athleticism make him a terrific high point receiver. It is no surprise Gesicki could hoop as well. (See below).
The problem he faced was the coaching staff. Adam Gase utilized Gesicki horribly, rather than bringing him along in the offense slowly, the now Jets head man would force the Penn State product to play a balanced role as not only a receiver but also as a blocker. This is not what Gesicki was brought here to do. The move did pay some dividends moving forward though, as a new staff got a fresh look at a product with far more seasoning than just a year prior. His failures during the 2018 season became valuable lessons for his breakout in 2019.
Gesicki added strength to his upper body allowing him to not be a complete liability in the blocking game and at least provide some support on combo blocks, but it was mentally where his growth shined through. He completed the season as the clear cut starter moving forward with 51 catches, 570 yards, and 5 touchdowns. This compared to just 22 receptions, 200 yards, and ZERO touchdowns.
Flores used his player correctly, and the wise Fitzpatrick knew when to lean on him. As the Dolphins continue to improve, mainly in the offensive trenches and running game, the middle of the field will open up far more. Opposing defenses will be forced into more mismatches than they would like, and another year of development from the now 24-year old should be exciting to see.
His versatility is so valuable to an offense, like Goedert he can catch the shallow ball and use his long strides to cover ground quickly, but he possesses an ability to be a threat downfield which has not been seen from the position in Miami for quite some time. The Phins do not need him to be a better Anthony Fasano, they need him to be a better Mike Gesicki. As the tight end continues to establish himself as a weapon down the field, and an option for a quarterback to rely on, he will only increase his value to this squad.
His last reception of the 2019 season encapsulated it perfectly. Rough start, many doubted throughout, but he showed that he is getting it. His dagger in the hearts of Patriots fans that Sunday in the house Gronk helped build was a potential promise of glorious things to come for the Miami Dolphins, all thanks to a chance taken by Grier to bet on talent.
What do you think of Mike Gesicki? Were you pleased with his 2019 season or do you feel like that is his ceiling? Let us know in the comments below!