Mike Gesicki- H-Back Penn ST

6-5, 265, (U) 4.65, (U) 4.21 SS,

(U) 35" Vert, (U)-Unofficial, 

Testing the Seam: Part I: 

Mini-Gronk. 

By TOM

Gesicki is a bit of a goofy athlete, with an elite Vert, length, and reach to leap up over multiple DBs and snag the ball. No one goes up higher than him to get the ball, even the deep ball. His hands have gotten better as the season went on. When his hands look solid, he looks like a 1st. Very underrated blocker in the run. He has a ton of experience blocking for Barkley. 

You really have to go back to the Tape and relearn everything you watched on TV in regards to Gesicki. After he tested as the most athletic Tight End in the history of the NFL, you really have to focus on just him on plays. It is easy to miss what he is doing as you are trying to watch five different guys. He is great at going deep down field, and adjusting to the inaccurate throw and going up and taking it away from puny DBs. 

He has a variety of moves to escape off the line including an arm over. He has a shake and back move at the line to make the LB miss his jam. They use him as a distraction a lot in the run game to run away from the ball carrier, like he is in pattern, and drag the LB away from the play with him.
Great job motioning inside, and taking out the LB with a crack back block for Barkley to cut off behind. 

He is a much better blocker on Tape than given credit. He was not asked to block a lot, but he was he was a very effective blocker. He blocked in pass pro as well and showed excellent position and technique. He will motion over in front of the QB, and then step up in a hole between the OC and OG in pass pro. But if no one rushed his lane you couldn't see him block. 

Nice job getting down the seam. He needs to get more aggressive blocking. He gets position and looks to shove a little. Nice job using his long arms to seal the OLB outside. Not real physical and tough in blocking, but he does have a knack for getting great position, and gets his hands on the defender, which is usually enough. He needs more work on his blocking. 

If you throw it deep, he will go up over every and snag it. Amazing consistency catching the deep pass. Ultimate threat for the high lop in the Endzone. He is an H-Back right now, and could make his way into a true tight end by adding size and strength. But if it costs him his elite speed and leap it might not be worth it. 

Great speed in pattern. Knows how to create separation by running different angles in patterns. Naturally creates separation with speed, burst, and breaks. They also use him a lot to run patterns to take LB away from the ball carrier on run downs. He is so good going down the seam, and working the middle of the field. He catches the ball on the 3rd level like Gronk. 

Smart player. Terrific football intelligence. He knows how to run a pattern to fool the LB into not noticing the run on the other side, and then can block him out of the play easily. He knows how to run patterns to gets open over the middle. He runs by LBs, and easily take either shoulder to get wide open. 

2017 Season: Started all 13 games...Caught a touchdown pass in five-straight games from Nov. 26, 2016-Sept. 9, 2017, including multiple touchdown grabs in the first two games...Finished his career with at least one reception in 27-straight games...Of his 57 catches on the season, 33 of them (58%) went for a first down or a touchdown...One of 21 Penn Staters to enter the Fiesta Bowl having already earned a degree.

Previously Released:

Washington: He just struggles to sustain blocks sometimes. He can get to the second level and hit the LB, but then LB can shed him and runs around him. He has to learn to grab shirt and move his feet better. But he is a Gronk like receiver as a 6-6 TE. They will run shuffle passes to him on the goal line. Not a big fan of that call. He can pull to the right, and stick his helmet into the chest of the giant DT, and knock himself down. He has got to get stronger. He is a breath away from being a dominate TE, but he is so long and lanky, and needs to hit the weights more.

Combine: He was great at catching the deep ball. He could go in the 1st Round with those Combine stats he put up. He broke some records with his measurements. He is a great long strider, and you can see he has no track guy in him. Letting run deep down the Seam, like Graham, and make defense try to adjust to him. Likes to try and push up, and keeps feet moving in blocking drill. No drop in 2nd gauntlet. 

He has some shake and bake in pattern. He has to slow in comeback. He can track the deep ball, and catch it naturally. He has that knack for getting open deep, like Gronk. What made Gronk special at Arizona was that he had that knack for getting open 20-plus yards down field. Gesicki has that knack.

Senior Bowl- He did not seem to get better this off season, but his QB sucks. Smooth hands catcher. He has some quick feet in pattern. He can make the DB miss in patterns with his feet. He kept going up and alley-ooping the ball over DBs like they were his kids. He looked like a man amongst boys in the end drills. Elite catcher in a crowd. He goes up over LB and DBs alike and pulls it down without fear. He is a top 3rd down option, and panic target for his QB, who can just loft it up high to him and let him go get it.

He started making some catches late in the 2nd. "Did you see that catch Gesicki made in the first quarter?" a scout said at the SB. "That was unreal. He got up at least 36 inches, shielded the defender, and snatched that ball at its highest point. You saw the volleyball and basketball background on that play. Then he jumps over his QB? I don’t want to see him do that again, but what a freak." He dominated late in the 2nd. 

He is not explosive, but when he gets going, and catches the ball on the run, he can really move on the 2nd and 3rd levels. He is one of those guys who is not pretty but surprisingly effective. Smooth hands catcher. He had some quick feet in pattern. He can make the DB miss in pattern with his feet. He kept going up and alley-ooping the ball over DBs, like they were his kids. He has really improved since the beginning of the season. 

Michigan: He played volleyball and basketball in high school, and is the best at going up and snagging the high lob. I don't think he has quite grown into his body, which makes him a little scary. Nice inline blocker on the edge. He can seal, and spring Barkley outside. Nice speed going down the Seam. He is going to kill guys in the NFL going down the seam. He has some Gronk in him on deep throws. Soft smooth hands to snag the ball all over the place. 

Amazing at leaping up in front of three players and snagging the ball forty yards down field like he is dunking a basketball. He is the best weapon going down the Seam in this Draft. He is not Gronk in the blocking game, but he should be very close to Gronk as a weapon in the passing game very soon. There has not been a TE his size come out, who is stunningly deadly going deep down field, since Gronk. 

Iowa: He is very effective when asked to block. The real question is why was he asked to block so little. He is a terrific cut blocker at the line. They do asked him to crack back on DLs a lot. And while it is not as effective as when he block LBs or DBs, he does take the big guys out of the play. He has that great burst and speed in pattern to run by LBs almost at will. 

Pitt: He is a great weapon on the goal line. He can swing outside, catch the ball, and run for a long time. He is a great athlete who is also long and tall with long arms, and he can go up over anyone and snag the ball. They use him as a move TE a lot. Nice job leading Barkley outside on tosses. He uses his long arm well when blocking. He looks stronger every time I watch him. Great catch radius. 

He displayed some great hand placement in blocking. Showed he can grab shirt and keep his feet moving for more than a few seconds. He has a nice feel for blocking. He can move his feet and pick up the LB coming through the line and give him a strong block that knocks him out of balance, and out of the play. 

Ohio State: He just knows how to run patterns and get open. He has great hands. Very natural. He does not fight the ball at all, and doesn't need to look it into his hands. Great courage going up for the ball between two DBs. He will pull it in between the two LBs as well. 

Mike Gesicki Vs Michigan:

Great initial burst into pattern. Watch how fast he gets down the Seam. He runs past the linebacker like he's a parking lot (:01). Lined up in the slot. Watch the great one cut to get open dragging down the line. He pulled the OLB out of position, and that is were Barkley got through the line to run for the long TD (:07). He is clearly an H-back right now (:20). Can he block? Watch him cut in front of Barkley and cut the LB like a weed. 

Lined up as the slot guy. Watch the great head and shoulder fake that he used to get the LB to turn his back to the runner. Gesicki dragged the LB out of positon to stop the run (:27). Watch how fast he closed the cushion on the LB. Then he flew by him like he was telephone pole (:36). This was the play that first made me think there was a lot more to him than meets the eye (though I didn't suspect he would be like the best ever... at the Combine;). He leap up in front of three guys, who started moving their hands up like they were going to catch the ball, and snagged it over the rim like a free two points. Incredible ball skills, adjustment to the ball, leaping ability, hands to go up and snag it. He showed everything you want in an H-back on this play.

I'd line him up in the Slot all day long, and twice a play on Sundays. Notice the take off isn't as explosive and fast. Then once he is inside the LB, he stops and blocks him like the sucker he is. That is as great, smart, and tricky block as you are going to see (:45). He is the top H-back in the Draft (:55). Great release to slip past the DE, and then curl inside slightly to get under and inside the LB on the second level.

In the slot again. Watch the nice one cut on the post pattern to get across the LBs body (1:01). great pattern. He got around the DE. Then he curled up field outside the LB, and curled open over the middle inside of him (1:09). Watch the great burst that sent him past the first LB (1:17). Then he flies past the second LB and cuts inside on the skinny Post. He is wide open and could have run for fifty. The 3rd LB had no chance of covering him.

He ran a Jerk route, but lost sight of the QB. Then he spun up field and didn't see the pass. The scary part is that he still has a lot of football skills and knowledge to work on. You can see on the replay that he was clearly supposed to jerk outside, and not improvise down field (1:32). But watch how wide open he was coming out of he Jerk, and if he had stayed going outside it would have been an easy reception. But he also got wide open going deep after improving the route.

Nice Drag over the middle through traffic (1:59). He flew down the Seam past the LB, and didn't even get a wink from the QB (2:12). That was a terrific seal block on  the edge. He hopped in front of the LB. Used great hand placement to grab shirt, and held on and moved his feet to keep the block for a long time. He even got him moving backwards a little (2:22). Nice outside release (2:12). Then he is angling deep across the field with the LB trailing. 

Watch him move his quick feet laterally to get in front of the LB. Then he bent low, and hit up to get the LB upright, and tried to grab shirt. That is a terrific block for an H-back (2:38). He got through the line, inside the DE. Watch the great cut back break that burst him wide open under the LB (2:46). That is a terrific pattern.

Terrific slip move to get inside the first LB, and that gave him a line to get inside the second LB. That was also a great catch by Hamilton, who I think would make a great slot guy for the Pats in the 3rd (2:54). He is such an imposing presence as a slot guy. He is just such a great WR. Watch the great stutter-step move that got him past the LB, and once he was past the LB he was open all night, because of his length and Vert, LOL. The QB actually had to almost purposely miss by throwing it out of bounds... oh (3:04)! The QB tried to miss by purposely throwing it out of bounds. But that throw displayed better than anything I could say as to why he is always open once he is behind the LB. 

Just watch the explosion up four or five feet over the LB. The elite body control to twist around in the air, and the smarts to slab his toes just inside the white line going down the sideline. No other tight end or receiver in this Draft could make that catch. He has to be the first Tight End taken in this Draft (and if not the first tight end than definitely the first H-back;). I rest my case.

Can he block? Watch the effective crack back block against the DE (3:19). Watch the great initial burst, and the speed to run past the LB. Then the great feet to slow and break wide open on the Out. He ran himself open in pattern twice on that route (3:43). Not a good block, but he gave good effort, and did grab some shirt (3:59). Great bend and feet to burst open inside on a post (4:16). He got to the 2nd level a little slow, which is a tell that he is blocking (4:23). But he got into the LB and drove him back 5-yards, which was just enough to give his QB the room to get to the endzone.

He burst past the LB, and was wide open going down the Seam, which helped keep the FS in the middle so Barkley could score (4:44). He is a willing blocker. He tried to cut the big DL, but just fell short (5:04). That is a WR like burst off the snap. Watch how quick he gets up to speed (5:10). Why would you give the ball to anyone else but Gesicki inside the Ten? 

Gesicki Vs Michigan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8q7EWGlBMU

Mike Gesicki Vs Ohio ST:

He does show his elite athleticism on the field. He is an easy natural hands catcher. He can be very dynamic with the ball in his hands (:01). He never really lined up in a 3-point stance like a TE. He always lined up like an H-Back or a Slot guy. But that doesn't mean he can't block (:07). Watch the great block on the DE. He moved laterally and absorb the big impact. Then he grabbed shirt with great hand placement, and held on for the ride with his feet moving. And that was against Bosa, who is going to be a top ten pick next year.

If I'm at the Ten, I run a Fade to Gesicki every time (:14). He moved across the line like he was going to crack back. Then he stopped, sunk into the hole between the OC and ORG in pass pro. Just because no one rushed that lane does mean he doesn't block (:28). Love his one-foot plant, and break inside, and outside (:35). Watch the hand usage to get open when the LB ran into him (:44). He has no fear catching the ball. He knows he is between a rock and a hard place, and is going to get hammered by two LBs when he caught it.

Just running free and wild down the Seam. He breaks over the middle when the QB takes off, and should have had the easy reception (:50). He had better and better football smarts almost weekly, and can sink into the hole in the Zone (1:04). Great outside release around the DE (1:12). Then sinks into the hole in the zone, past the marker, and made it look easy.

He ran patterns to get open on the 2nd level at will (1:26). That's not him (1:32). That's him. Oh wait it can't be him, he made a very effective crack back block, and we all know he doesn't block. If your draft expert twitted or wrote that Gesicki doesn't block than you need a new Draft expert (1:39). That is a great pattern (1:50). He has such great instincts in pattern to find the open spots. He was so wide open that the QB threw it like three second late and he still made the catch look easy.

Would you please throw him a high lob fade! Or have him block Tyquan Lewis. What's the diff (1:56). Nice position block that kept the OLB out of run defense (2:03). Great crack back on Bosa, that sent the Top Ten Pick to the ground (2:08). Wide open in pattern (2:12). Another great cut block on Bosa (2:20). He heads up the gut, find the Mike, and takes him out (2:39). I love the way he blocks. Big time blocks, in big time games, against big time players.

He ran Jalyn all down the line (2:45). He faked the crack back to get open (3:00). Three guys watched him on that route (3:05). He got bumped by two guys, and still found the hole in the coverage (3:11). Elite catching the ball through contact. There is no space for him to catch this ball in (3:19). So he leaped up high, spun back, and caught the ball as he was thrown to the ground.

Missed the crack back (3:26). Big time crack back there (3:33). He ran a great pattern to get inside the LB and break outside (3:39). Great stutter step to take the outside shoulder of the defender. He could have had it if he wasn't cut off by the double (3:51). He is a 1st Round pick. He is not just the most athletic TE ever, he is also the best H-back in this Draft. If I could have seen him block inline more I would declare him the best TE as well. The Patriots cannot pass on him at 31 no matter what happens. In fact, it is now such a priority (now that we know he can block;) that they might have to trade up to get him, which of course they will never do! (Unless the 23rd pick in this Draft opened up;). 

Gesicki Vs Ohio ST:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJjyh9JAjAk

Gesicki's Official Bio:

Career: Finished his career with at least one reception in 27-straight games...Ranked No. 9 in Penn State history with a Penn State tight end-record 129 catches...Capped his career at No. 17 on Penn State's career receiving yards chart with a Penn State tight end-record 1,481 yards...Hauled in a Penn State tight end-record 15 career receiving touchdowns to rank tied for No. 9 in school history at the conclusion of his senior season...Eclipsed the tight ends record for receptions with his final catch vs. Pittsburgh (9/9/17), surpassing Andrew Quarless' 87 grabs from 2006-09...Supplanted Ted Kwalick's (1,343; 1966-68) tight end receptions yardage record vs. Nebraska (11/18/17) after the record stood for 49 seasons...Moved past Jesse James' (11; 2012-14) school record for touchdown receptions by a tight end against Nebraksa (11/18/17)...Became the 29th Penn State pass catcher to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards vs. Pittsburgh (9/9/17)...Was the 15th Nittany Lion with 100-plus career receptions, joining teammates Saquon Barkley (102; 2015-17), Chris Godwin (154; 2014-16) and DaeSean Hamilton (209; 2014-17) and current assistant coach Terry Smith (108; 1989-91)...Gesicki and Hamilton became the third set of teammates with 100-plus career receptions, joining Derrick Williams, Jordan Norwood and Deon Butler (2005-08) and Hamilton and Godwin (2014-16)...Joined teammates Barkley and Hamilton as the second RB/WR/TE trio to eclipse 1,000 career receiving yards in Big Ten history (Purdue, 1982-85: WR Steve Griffin, 2,234 yards; RB Rodney Carter, 1,814 yards; TE Marty Scott, 1,247 yards).

Season: 2017: Set the Penn State single-season record for touchdown catches for a tight end with nine, a mark that was tied for No. 9 on the season charts with current Nittany Lion assistant coach Terry Smith (1991) and Derek Moye (2010) at season's end...Owns the single-season record for receptions by a tight end with 57, surpassing his 48 grabs from 2016...The 57 receptions ranked tied for No. 8 on the single-season list at the end of 2017. 2016: Surpassed Andrew Quarless (41; 2009) for the most receptions by a tight end in a single season with 48, a mark he surpassed in 2017...Set the single-season mark for receiving yardage by a tight end at 679, besting Mickey Shuler’s previous single-season record of 600 receiving yards (1977)...His 48 catches ranked No. 18 at the end of his career.

➤ 2017 ➤ Senior Season: Awards: Named second-team All-America tight end by SB Nation and Sporting News...Selected a third-team All-American by College Sports Madness and Phil Steele...Garnered National Football Foundation's (NFF) South New Jersey Collegiate Player of the Year honors...Earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from the media and second-team accolades from the conference coaches...Named first-team All-Big Ten by Pro Football Focus...Garnered second-team All-Big Ten from the Associated Press and Phil Steele...Named first-team All-ECAC...Selected as one of three finalists for the Mackey Award, for the nation's top tight end...Earned Midseason All-America honors from Sports Illustrated...Earned Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week honors on Sept. 12 after catching two touchdown passes vs. Pittsburgh...Selected to the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week following his two-touchdown effort vs. Nebraska (11/18)...Selected a preseason first-team All-America by the Associated Press, Sporting News, USA Today and Street & Smith...Earned second-team All-America from Sports Illustrated, Athlon Sports and Lindy’s...Earned the Quarterback Club Award at the annual team banquet, the award for seniors whom deserve special recognition...Named Academic All-Big Ten... Selected to play in the Reese's Senior Bowl.
Season: Started all 13 games...Caught a touchdown pass in five-straight games from Nov. 26, 2016-Sept. 9, 2017, including multiple touchdown grabs in the first two games...Finished his career with at least one reception in 27-straight games...Of his 57 catches on the season, 33 of them (58%) went for a first down or a touchdown...One of 21 Penn Staters to enter the Fiesta Bowl having already earned a degree
.

Rankings: Ranked tied No. 25 nationally and No. 3 in the Big Ten in receiving touchdowns (9)...Finished tied for No. 86 nationally and No. 6 in the Big Ten in receptions per game (4.4)...Sat No. 3 nationally among tight ends in receptions (57), No. 4 in receiving touchdowns (9) and No. 5 in receiving yards (563).

Akron (9/2): Had six catches and a career-high two touchdown grabs...Totaled 58 yards...Made scoring grabs of 13 and 35 yards. Pittsburgh (9/9): Had two touchdown grabs and tied for team high with four catches...Totaled 39 yards receiving...Made his first career tackle on an interception that ended the first half. Georgia State (9/16): Caught two passes for 26 yards, including a 20-yard catch-and-run to get Penn State out of the shadow of its own goal line after GSU downed a punt at the PSU 1-yard line. at Iowa (9/23): Had five receptions for 25 yards...Two of his receptions went for first downs and another came on Penn State's game-winning touchdown drive. Indiana (9/30): Made three catches for 19 yards. at Northwestern (10/7): Made two catches for 9 yards. Michigan (10/21): Caught two passes for 53 yards...Both catches went for first downs...Had a 42-yard leaping grab at the Michigan 15-yard line to set up Saquon Barkley's 15-yard touchdown run in the first quarter...Went up and caught a 17-yard pass to make it first-and-goal on the UM 3-yard line, which set up Trace McSorley's touchdown run on the next play, just before halftime. at Ohio State: Caught six passes for 57 yards...Four of his six receptions went for first downs. at Michigan State (11/4): Led the team with a career-high eight catches, totaling a career-high 89 yards...Three of his eight catches went for first downs. Rutgers (11/11): Hauled in one touchdown grab...Made four catches for 45 yards in the game. Nebraska (11/18): Caught four passes for 47 yards and two touchdowns...All four passes went for either a first down or touchdown...Caught touchdown passes of 9 and 17 yards in the game. at Maryland (11/25): Logged his fourth multi-touchdown game of the season with two scoring grabs...Caught five passes for 35 yards. vs. Washington (12/30): Caught six passes for 62 yards...Three of his six grabs went for first downs.

➤ 2016 ➤ Junior Season: Awards: Earned third-team All-American honors from College Sports Madness...Named All-Big Ten second team by the media panel...Selected All-Big Ten honorable mention by the conference coaches...First Penn State tight end to earn All-Big Ten first or second team honors since Kyle Carter (first team) in 2012...Selected to the Athlon Sports All-Big Ten second team...Named to Phil Steele’s All-Big Ten third team...Earned All-ECAC honorable mention honors...Selected to the Mackey Award Preseason Watch List and Mackey Midseason Watch List...Named Academic All-Big Ten for the second time in his career.

Season: Started all 14 games...Had four or more catches in seven of the last 12 games...Doubled his career receiving yardage total entering the season.

Final Rankings: Led the Big Ten and was tied for No. 7 nationally in receptions by a tight end (48)...Ranked No. 1 in the B1G and No. 7 in FBS in receiving yards by a tight end (679)...Led the Big Ten and was tied for No. 13 in FBS in touchdowns by a tight end (5).

Kent State (9/3): Made three receptions including a touchdown grab...Totaled 49 yards receiving. at Pitt (9/10): Caught four passes for 47 yards. Temple (9/17): Logged 62 receiving yards on two catches...Hauled in a 52-yarder with a one-handed grab in the third quarter. at Michigan (9/24): Grabbed a career-high five passes for 23 yards. Minnesota (10/1): Tied a career high with five grabs for 70 yards...Hauled in a career-long 53-yard reception to set up first-and-goal, eventually leading to a Trace McSorley touchdown run. Maryland (10/8): Pulled in four receptions for 26 yards and one touchdown...Capped Penn State opening drive with a 5-yard catch-and-run that ended in a dive into the end zone. Ohio State (10/22): Caught four passes for 46 yards...Had a 16-yard grab on Penn State's fourth quarter touchdown drive...Pulled in a 26-yarder on his first catch of the game on Penn State’s opening drive. at Purdue (10/29): Made one catch, a 23-yard grab on third-and-10 on Penn State’s opening drive, which eventually ended in a Saquon Barkley touchdown run. Iowa (11/5): Pulled down four catches for 65 yards...Caught three passes on Penn State’s third scoring drive of the game, including a 43-yard catch-and-run that set up Trace McSorley’s 1-yard touchdown run. at Indiana (11/12): Tied a career high with five catches for a career-best 88 yards...Made a 45-yard reception in the first quarter. at Rutgers (11/19): Tied his career high for the second-straight week with five grabs...Totaled a game-high 47 receiving yards. Michigan State (11/26): Pulled in two passes for 65 yards and one touchdown...Made a leaping 45-yard grab and fell backwards into the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter. vs. Wisconsin (12/3): Caught three passes for 58 yards and one touchdown...Hauled in a 33-yard touchdown grab to open the scoring for Penn State in the first quarter, his first TD reception outside of Beaver Stadium. vs. USC (1/2): Made one catch for 11 yards..Lone reception was an 11-yard touchdown grab with 54 seconds remaining in the second quarter to pull Penn State within six points at the half.

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