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Mike Gesicki 2018 NFL Draft scouting report: Could he be the next Jimmy Graham?

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We take a look at a tight end who is raising his draft stock to a potential first round or high second round selection.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Penn State vs Washington Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

Measurables

6’5”, 247 lbs

40-yd Dash: 4.54

Bench Press: 22 reps

Vertical Jump: 41.5”

*All combine bests among tight ends

Stats

2017: 57 receptions, 563 yards (9.9 AVG), 9 touchdowns

2016: 48 receptions, 679 yards (14.1), 5 touchdowns

2015: 13 receptions, 125 yards (9.6), 1 touchdown

2014: 11 receptions, 114 yards (10.4), 0 touchdowns

Awards

2016 Second Team All-Big Ten (by media)

Three-time All-Academic Big Ten

2017 Second Team All-America by SB Nation

Strengths

By watching the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, Gesicki’s strengths immediately pop out. He has a large frame at 6-foot-5, 247 pounds and is a freak athlete.

For comparison, Gesicki was faster than Antonio Brown, stronger than Donald Penn and jumped higher than Odell Beckham Jr. at the combine, via the NFL’s Instagram. He will be a mismatch against anyone.

Gesicki’s athleticism seems to be a product of his diverse athletic background. He had Division 1 offers to play volleyball and basketball. A promising sign since everyone has seen what a basketball background can do for a tight end in the NFL with Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham’s success.

The former Nittany Lion boasts impressive ball skills, zero drops in the last two seasons, and a large catch radius due to his frame and jumping ability.

In addition, Gesicki isn’t a player with untapped potential. He had more than 1200 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns in the last two seasons.

Weaknesses

Despite the quick 40-yard-dash, Gesicki doesn’t possess the same speed in and out of breaks as he does in a straight line.

Gesicki is built more vertically than widely which helps in the passing game but could create issues when he is asked to block in the run game. Furthermore, there could be concern when a physical defender presses him at the line of scrimmage as he might struggle to create separation.

Verdict

At the moment, Gesicki is projected to be a second round pick and would be well worth it considering his sky-high potential, production in college, athleticism and hands.

And having a matchup nightmare at tight end is becoming more and more important in today’s NFL to put pressure on the defense.

Pro Comparison

Jimmy Graham

Fit with Raiders

With Jared Cook due over $5 million in 2018, there is no guarantee Cook will be on Oakland’s roster come opening day. If Cook becomes a cap casualty, Derek Carr will need a new tight end to take Cook’s spot. Gesicki could easily be that guy.

Gesicki would give the Raiders a premier red zone target for the foreseeable future with the ability to turn any jump ball into a touchdown. He could also help open up the seam if Carr can add a pinpoint back shoulder throw to his arsenal like Drew Brees had with Graham.