One of the Miami Dolphins’ top priorities heading into the NFL Draft was to pick up a tight end who can make an impact on the passing game.
It didn’t take long Friday for them to address that concern.
The Dolphins selected Penn State's Mike Gesicki with the 42nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
In four years at Penn State, Gesicki caught 129 passes for 1,481 yards and 15 touchdowns. He set career highs as a senior with 57 catches and nine touchdowns. At 6-foot-6 and 247 pounds, he could be a viable red-zone threat.
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And If he can replicate even a portion of that success early in training camp and show he can be a serviceable in-line blocker, he could be a heavy favorite to be a Week 1 starter for the Dolphins next season (if he isn’t already considered one).
After all, the Dolphins’ history with tight ends has rarely been considered successful.
Just how bad has it been?
Over the course of the franchise’s history, the Dolphins have never had a tight end who caught more than 80 passes in a season. For context: Jason Witten, the 11-time Pro Bowler with the Dallas Cowboys who retired on Friday, caught at least 80 passes six times during his 15-year career.
Gesicki's competition at the moment: Gavin Escobar, MarQueis Gray, A.J. Derby and Thomas Duarte.
Gesicki joins first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick out of Alabama as the Dolphins selections so far.