2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Prospect: Mike Gesicki
School: Penn State
Ht: 6'6" Wt: 250
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Evaluated by: Austin Smith
Gesicki has proven to be one of the most athletic tight ends in the country over a four-year career that has seen him become a Mackey-Award candidate as a senior. The former volleyball/basketball star has slowly learned how to translate his skill set to become a talented receiver. He may not be as polished as a number of the tight ends that we saw in a loaded 2017 class, but he is certainly one of the top prospects at the position heading into 2018.
The first thing many notice about Gesicki is his size. He should easily measure over 6'5, and his long arms and leaping ability give him a monster catch radius. He has a slender build but appears to have added some bulk prior to the beginning of the 2017 season. There is still more work to be done in that area if he wants to be a complete tight end, but at his current weight, he appears to move with ease making him a tough matchup for linebackers to cover. That, paired with his size make him a nightmare matchup for just about anyone on the field. His background in basketball is evident in the way he attacks the ball in the air. He shows the ability to bring in contested passes and knows when to go into "rebounder mode," positioning his body between the defender and the ball. He also shows very good hand-eye coordination, which is likely a result of his past volleyball career. He instinctually extends his hands to the ball which will make him a reliable target at the next level. He also shows a heightened sense of focus in the red zone.
Outside of that, there is still a lot of untapped potential in Gesicki. He has mainly played an H-Back role at Penn State, and that has limited his exposure to the finer points of playing tight end. As a blocker, he really knows how to use his athleticism to get in position to wall off the defender but at this stage, getting in the defender's way is as good is the foundation of his experience. With those long arms, and his advanced hand-eye coordination, he could become much better in this area, but he is going to need a lot of coaching and patience. As I mentioned, he needs to add more bulk, and as a blocker, that holds true for both his upper and lower body. Still, I think he could become a serviceable blocker with time. Whether a team decides to use him as an inline blocker or as an H-Back who blocks more in open space, he is also going to need to embrace the physical side of the sport. There is finesse nature to him currently, and it takes a bit of a mean streak as a blocker.
That physical nature will also need to be acquired for his route running, which is currently in the rudimentary stages. With his size and athleticism, he could easily develop into someone with the ability to bully his way through physical defenders, yet also separate from smaller ones. As of now, I can't say he has the slightest idea of how to separate out of his breaks, but Travis Kelce wasn't the most polished route runner coming out of Cincinnati. Now he is arguably the most valuable tight end in football, and it is not a stretch to say that Gesicki can't grow into the same type of player down the road. Defenders are going to fear him as a player that can make plays down the field, and that kind of presence is a good foundation as a route runner. If you can get defenders to turn their hips quickly, it can make for very good separation.
Overall, it is not often that a player with so little polish is such an intriguing prospect, but Gesicki has the kind of combination of size and athleticism that can't be ignored. Coaches will be drooling to get their hands on Gesicki and mold him to their liking. There is a bit of a diva in him, and he loves to let everyone know when he made a play, but that isn't exactly uncommon among pass catchers. What matters more to scouts is that we don't see him lose control of his emotions ala Kelce. His added bulk tells me that he is a hard worker, and his background in multiple sports really speaks to the competitor in him. I am not sure if any tight end will warrant a first-round pick in 2018, but Gesicki's upside gives him the best chance of the bunch next April.
Compares to (Current NFL Player): Coby Fleener (New Orleans Saints)
- Outstanding combination of size and athleticism
- Impressive hand-eye coordination
- Long arms and leaping ability make him good at bringing in contested passes
- Hard worker and competitor
- Best football is ahead of him
- Must get stronger
- Route-running skills are far from advanced
- Abilities as a blocker are not much better
- Bit of a finesse nature
|Scouting Video Courtesy of Nittany Nation|
1)   Penn State's Mike Gesicki befriends Michigan QB's mom at State College diner   - Philly.com |
2)   Penn State football's Mike Gesicki explains origin of his 'train' celebration   - CentreDaily.com |
3)   Southern grad Mike Gesicki has emerged as a top NFL prospect
- APP.com |
4)   Mike Gesicki Twitter|
5)   Mike Gesicki Instagram|