Mike Gesicki is a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma

Mike Gesicki Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gesicki Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Credit goes to David Ferry from the movie JFK for the headline. Though he was talking about the conspiracy to assassinate JFK and I’m talking about the tight end for the Miami Dolphins, I plan on making the argument Mike Gesicki’s plight and future are in fact a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma.

Mike Gesicki has been one of my favorite players since he was drafted back in 2018. I don’t think I pounded the table harder for a player to be drafted by the Miami Dolphins more than Mike Gesicki. I am a Penn State graduate so watching the occasional PSU game is something that I often do in the fall.

When Mike Gesicki started playing for Nittany Lions, he just always stuck out to me. He’s enormous, has really awkward strides when he runs, and he can jump out of any building on Earth. Also, when they would show his highlight film of him dunking the life out of the ball in the middle of games, I always marked out for that.

In 2018, the Miami Dolphins, per usual, needed a playmaker at tight end and Mike Gesicki, to me, was perfect for them. In the 2nd round, they actually drafted him and I’ve been riding with Gesicki ever since.

There have been some tumultuous times being in Mike Gesicki’s corner. Like when the offensive coaching staff would do whatever they can not to throw him the ball, that wasn’t fun. Or, the constant dogging of Mike Gesicki’s blocking ability, which never ends, also is quite annoying.

Here’s a little newsflash about Mike Gesicki’s blocking ability, he wasn’t drafted to block. Plain and simple. Of course, he’ll do it, and it will be marginal to average, but make no mistake he’s in the NFL and was thought highly enough to be a 2nd round pick because he’s a threat to catch every football thrown his way.

The contested-catch stat is a very underrated one to me. It tells me it doesn’t matter if you have a guy or two draped all over you or if the ball is misplaced. You have a good chance of hauling it in. Sure, you can say it also means that receivers’ separation isn’t great but Mike Gesicki is a tight end. He’s not going to break many ankles with stop-on-a-dime-type route running very often.

Instead, Gesicki is going to be catching the ball down the seams where there is a slight window between linebackers and the approaching safties where he and everyone know he will be taking a big hit. Or if you’re Mike Gesicki, you’re going to go up for a jump ball against a corner near the numbers. Who can forget this classic?

But there are a few questions entering this season that Mike Gesicki needs to answer. He needs to answer them because it’s nowhere near a lock that he’s on the team come next year.

Mike Gesicki had the franchise tag placed on him. The team has until July 15th to extend him with a long-term deal. Naturally, that’s what Mike Gesicki wants to happen. It seems like he doesn’t want to leave Miami.

One of the questions sort of up in the air is whether or not Mike Gesicki is looking to get paid as a tight end or wide receiver. I think if you asked Mike Gesicki what position he played he’d give you an answer like “football player” as he smirks. This article by PFF does a very good job of breaking down all the snaps Gesicki has played and why he is more of a wide receiver than a tight end.

I think it’s one of those things where the only thing that matters is what position did you get drafted at? I could be way wrong about this but if Mike Gesicki entered the draft as a wide receiver and did everything exactly the same, he would be considered a wide receiver.

The thing is if Mike Gesicki does want to classify himself as a wide receiver his numbers may not be backing him as much as he wants thus his payday might not be as great. Basically, his numbers are really good for a tight end, but average for a wide receiver. My guess is that Gesicki will always be labeled a tight end who is split out very often and does very little pass-blocking.

But that leads to my other question; how does Mike Gesicki fit into a Mike McDaniel-themed offense? We know McDaniel loves himself a beast of a tight end. He had George Kittle and that man was a pure wrecking machine no matter if he was running with the ball or kicking out a defensive end on a running play. But there really aren’t many George Kittles out there/

The logic is that McDaniel is going to figure out a way to use Mike Gesicki’s skills for this season. But the question is he going to want to do that after this season? The answer is I don’t know.

Mike Gesicki is who he is and he’s not a guy who wants to block much and is average at best in doing it. That’s fine but I just don’t know if that’s the mold for that position for McDaniel long term.

I’m sure McDaniel is all about forming an offense for the players that he has on offense like all the best winning coaches have been doing for decades. But I don’t know if McDaniel will want to form an entire offense around one player.

Whether Mike Gesicki is a top-five tight end in this league I think is irrelevant to Mike McDaniel. Can he do what McDaniel needs him to do to make his offense work the best, that I feel is the only thing that matters to him.

I say Mike McDaniel is smart enough to figure out how to use Mike Gesicki the best way possible without making him a liability or tip-off the defense that it’s going to be a pass.  I expect Mike Gesicki to have a big year in terms of production. With so much attention, rightfully, being given to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, Gesicki should have many moments where he is open or have a great matchup.



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