Greg Cote

Dolphins get the next Gronk (they hope) and a mini-linebacker on Day 2 of NFL Draft

Penn State's Mike Gesicki (88) points to the fans after a touchdown against Michigan during the second half of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. Penn State won 42-13.
Penn State's Mike Gesicki (88) points to the fans after a touchdown against Michigan during the second half of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. Penn State won 42-13.

After wishing in this column that the Dolphins had been bolder and traded up for their future at quarterback in the first round, I liked what Miami did to start Day 2 of the NFL Draft -- direct-targeting a need by selecting Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki in the second round Friday night.

It's funny how the rival New England Patriots and especially Rob Gronkowski have weighed on the Fins' first two picks. Miami drafted Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick 11th overall Thursday with the idea he could neutralize Gronk. In Gesicki, Miami drafted a guy they hope is Gronk: A similarly sized 6-6 offense-minded pass catcher.

Gesicki is not renowned as a blocker. He isn't a sixth-lineman type of tight end. Won't help the running game much. But as a quick, big target for Ryan Tannehill, he fills a pressing need. Miami has spent forever looking for a Gronk-like offensive powerhouse at the position, most recently failing with Julius Thomas. Gesicki's up next, with the multi-sport athleticism to give him a shot as a potential matchup problem for defenses..

The Dolphins selected Penn State's Mike Gesicki with the 42nd pick in Round 2 in the 2018 NFL Draft.

I'd had tight end, outside linebacker/edge rusher and defensive tackle among logical positions Miami might target Friday (along with QB, of course), so Gesicki fit.

Miami also went need with Friday's third round pick in Jerome Baker of Ohio State, the seventh-rated outside linebacker prospect. He flies on athleticism and speed but is way-undersized at 6-1 and 229. There are reason guys last into the third round.

Miami Dolphins GM Chris Grier talks about their selection of Penn State's Mike Gesicki with the 42nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Quick aside: The Dolphins have drafted two future Hall of Famers in the second or third rounds: Dwight Stephenson in 1981 and Jason Taylor in 1997. So Miami is due. No pressure or anything, Gesicki and Baker. I'm just sayin'.

DOLPHINS' GREATEST DRAFT PICKS IN ROUNDS 2 AND 3

Miami's all-time top five picks in each round based on CarAV (Career Approximate Value), a pro-football-reference.com formula that compares the relative success of NFL careers across all positions.

Player, Pos. Draft CarAV

2nd Round

1. Sam Madison, CB 1997 86

2. Bob Baumhower, DT 1977 82

3. Dwight Stephenson, C 1981 81

4. Mark Duper, WR 1982 76

5. Keith Sims, OG 1990 68

Next: CB Patrick Surtain, 67. Other 2R notables include Jim Mandich, John Offerdahl, Tim Ruddy, Chris Chambers, Sean Smith and Jarvis Landry.

3rd Round

1. Jason Taylor, DE 1997 117

2. Nat Moore, WR 1974 80

3. Dick Anderson, S 1968 64

4. Tony Nathan, RB 1979 60

5. Duriel Harris, WR 1976 52

Next: CB Tim Foley, 50. Other 3R notables include Mercury Morris and Olivier Vernon.

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