Mike Gesicki enters the 2018 NFL Draft after a strong four-year career at Penn State in which he established himself as one of the top — if not the top — Nittany Lion tight ends of all time.
In his career, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight end from Manahawkin, N.J., reeled in 129 catches for 1,481 yards and 15 touchdowns while playing in nearly every game for the Lions.
Mike Gesicki: Penn State TE for 2018 NFL Draft
1. Mike Gesicki owns some prime space in the Penn State football record books
The tight end, who did most of his damage in his junior and senior seasons, has three major records for the Lions. One is the record for most career receptions as a tight end. His 129 far outpaces former record-holder Andrew Quareless’ 87 coaches.
Another is the most receiving yards for a tight end with 1,481, topping Ted Kwalick’s 1,343 yards.
And finally, his 15 touchdown catches put him in the lead for most touchdown receptions by a tight end at Penn State, beating Jesse James who had 11.
2. Mike Gesicki has made a lot of really — really — athletic plays in his career
Gesicki was no stranger to highlight-reel plays, especially in the final two seasons of his career. There are a lot to list and some even came outside of live action or off the football field.
Here are a few of his biggest plays.
A one-handed snag against Maryland in 2017.
— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) November 25, 2017
His hurdle of quarterback Trace McSorley after a touchdown.
— Matt Schick (@ESPN_Schick) October 22, 2017
This other one-handed grab at practice.
— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) April 20, 2017
And a few more from 2016.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) April 20, 2017
3. Mike Gesicki had a rough start to his career but finished strong
After 11 catches in his freshman year, his sophomore year, Gesicki had five drops which far out-shadowed his 13 catches and one touchdown and led to a lot of criticism moving forward.
But 48 catches, 679 yards and five touchdowns in his junior year followed by 57 catches for 563 yards and nine touchdowns in his senior year set him up to be remembered as one of the best Penn State tight ends of all time.
4. Mike Gesicki been compared to Eric Ebron for good and for bad
Eric Ebron plays in the NFL, which is obviously where Gesicki hopes to be for a long, long while. The former Lion has size, reach and the ability to jump like the Detroit Lions tight end, but there are also some negatives.
Ebron does not block well and while Gesicki has worked at it, last summer Pro Football Focus Big Ten analyst Josh Liskiewitz told Land of 10 that his blocking is poor.
Here are Liskiewitz’s full quotes:
“He has some Eric Ebron in him — both the good and bad,” Liskiewitz said. “He runs OK routes but can get vertical against linebackers, and has the size to be a mismatch against anyone in the back seven.
“His poor blocking is reminiscent of Ebron — both Penn State and Detroit share a fair amount of zone principles in their run games, so both players have similar responsibilities on run blocks. And he needs another consistent year catching the ball in 2017.”
5. He’s still good friends with former Penn State tight end and fellow NFL TE prospect Adam Breneman
At Big Ten Media Day last summer, Gesicki called Breneman a mentor to him as the latter was there a year before he arrived in Happy Valley.
The tight ends talk on the phone all the time and brag about stats and accomplishments.
Here’s what else he said to reporters:
“We have a great relationship,” said Gesicki. “I was with him when he was injured and couldn’t play, he was with me when I was dealing with some adversity. Then (in 2016) he gets healthy and plays very well and I get over the hump and am also able to play at a successful level.