Barry Jackson

What surprised Gesicki against the Jets and some revealing early-season Dolphins metrics

A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Tuesday:

One of the big surprises so far is that tight end Mike Gesicki is making more of an impact as a blocker — his perceived shortcoming coming out of Penn State — than as a receiver, his greatest strength.

Gesicki, the Dolphins’ second-round draft pick, had only two targets and one reception (for 11 yards) in the opener against Tennessee, with the other target intercepted in the end zone.

He had no pass targets against the Jets.

The reason? The Titans and Jets defenses paid close attention to him in pass coverage, forcing Ryan Tannehill and playcaller/coach Adam Gase to look elsewhere.

“I was kind of surprised that I was attracting [that much attention],” Gesicki said. “A couple snaps, there were some double-teams. I really haven’t made too many plays. I haven’t made any plays yet.”

Gesicki said he’s OK with his limited role in the passing game to this point.

“Other guys are getting open,” he said. “For me, I’m just being patient. I expect to play in this league for a long time so I’m not rushing having 10 catches in a game or anything like that. Just doing my role and when it comes, it comes.”

Though Gesicki allowed one of Miami’s four sacks on Sunday, the Dolphins say his blocking has improved, and he had a key block on Kenyan Drake’s touchdown run against the Jets.

“Everyone is surprised I’m blocking well,” Gesicki said, cracking that he believes some fans expected him to stand out of the way on some plays that require blocking.

The Dolphins promoted safety Maurice Smith from the practice squad to their 53-man roster, filling the spot vacated by guard Josh Sitton going on injured reserve last week.

Pro Football Focus charged guard Ted Larsen with one of the four sacks Sunday. Center Daniel Kilgore appeared primarily to blame on one of the others.

Meanwhile, left tackle Laremy Tunsil was the team’s highest-graded offensive player in Week 2, earning an overall PFF grade of 76.3.

Per PFF, “Tunsil still needs to clean up his penalties [two so far this season after 12 last year], but he has allowed just one pressure in 68 pass-blocking snaps through two games.”

Tannehill stands eighth in the NFL in passer rating at 104.9 and PFF says he “was stellar once again when facing no pressure, completing 14-18 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns for a quarterback rating of 135.0.

“Tannehill ranks sixth among all quarterbacks in time to throw through the first two weeks of the season, averaging just 2.38 seconds per passing play.”

Defensive tackle Davon Godchaux was PFF’s highest-graded Dolphins player on defense against the Jets, and defensive end Robert Quinn led the team with five total pressures and is the team’s highest-graded defensive player (80.5 overall) through the first two weeks of the season.

Not only does linebacker Kiko Alonso ranks seventh in the league in tackles with 19 and tied for first in forced fumbles with two, but his pass coverage is much improved.

Per PFF, Alonso has allowed just 50 percent of the targets thrown his way to be caught through two games this season; that number was 84.6 percent in 2017. He allowed three of six targets to be caught for 36 yards Sunday.

But linebacker Raekwon McMillan allowed all three passes thrown against him to be caught, for 57 yards and a touchdown, and has now allowed 8 of 9 passes in his coverage area to be caught for 107 yards through two games.

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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