The Pittsburgh Steelers have a tight end in Vance McDonald that is athletic enough to pick up some serious yards after the catch. The problem? He’s struggled to stay healthy. If the Steelers are in fact in the market for a pass catching tight end could Mike Gesicki be their target?
Mike Gesicki 6’5″ 247 lbs TE | Penn State
Key Combine Stats: 40 yard dash 4.54 | Bench at 225 lbs 22 reps | Vertical 41.5″ |
2017 Stats: 13 Games | 57 Receptions | 563 Yards | 9.9 Yards per Catch | 9 TDs |
The Skinny: Wicked good athlete who excelled in basketball, volleyball and just about everything else he did. Got involved in the Penn State offense as a freshman and never came off the offensive field during the rest of his time for the Nittany Lions. Does he have the strength and stature to take an NFL pounding?
What’s to Like: His combine performance was outstanding from an athletic point of view. Very good hands and can go down or up to grab throws off target. Smart player who finds areas to settle in against zone defenses and also understands where to run his routes in relation to the yard markers. Can make contested catch and in heavy traffic.
What’s Concerning: In-line blocking is a major weakness. He’s not going to blow anyone off the ball who is directly across from him. As a ‘move’ tight end he has a little better chance of blocking defenders but it’s still a struggle. Long-strider but not going to make many guys miss. Picks up very few yards after the catch when contested. Runs good routes but lacks that ability to separate right away.
The Verdict: It’s hard not to like what Gesicki brings to the table as far as being an athletic guy who can be a major threat in the passing game. He would be a matchup nightmare in the red zone because of his height and tremendous leaping ability. There’s a natural inclination to compare him to Jesse James and not just because of height and where they played in college. Gesicki also struggles when it comes to blocking on a consistent basis. The effort is there but he’s often overpowered and loses contact due to quickness from the defender. Running behind him is not a good idea. He brings a lot to the table in terms of his pass-catching but I don’t see him going to the Steelers. I look at him as a 2nd round guy who goes to team that already has an established blocking tight end and needs an offensive threat.
Videos Watched: vs. MSU ’17, vs. UM ’17, vs. OSU ’17, vs. RUT ’17
Video courtesy: DraftBreakdown.com
Photo courtesy: elevenwarriors.com
Stats courtesy: sports-reference.com