Dolphins take PSU’s Gesicki in second round

Mike Gesicki said he ended up “exactly where I belong” after getting selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the NFL draft Friday night.

“It’s one of the most exciting moments of my life,” Gesicki told Miami reporters after being selected.

Gesicki enjoyed arguably the best college career ever by a Penn State tight end, setting program records for receptions (129), yards (1,481) and touchdowns (15) at the position. A superb all-around athlete, the 6-foot-6, 247-pounder impressed NFL scouts with his physical skills and was rated as one of the top tight ends available in the draft.

The Dolphins took Gesicki with the 42nd overall pick, making him the second tight end drafted, the first being South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst at No. 25 in the first round.

“They made it seem like I was home a couple of weeks ago,” Gesicki said, referring to a pre-draft visit with the Dolphins.

“That organization has a lot of great history,” he added.

Gesicki was the only PSU player drafted Friday, leaving third-round hopefuls such as receiver DaeSean Hamilton and safety Marcus Allen having to wait another day to hear their name called.

Gesicki figures to have an opportunity to play early with the Dolphins, who are thin at tight end.

There are concerns with Gesicki’s blocking skills, which the ESPN announcers made clear when his name was called Friday. One announcer even called him a “one-trick pony,” before adding that he’s very good at that trick — catching passes.

“I definitely need to continue to improve my run blocking and all that kind of stuff,” Gesicki said, according to the Miami Herald. “Obviously, my best attributes are in the pass game, and I need to continue to develop on the other side. But it is something that I’m so excited about. I have great coaching there, and I’m really excited just to get to work and do what I know I can do.”

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier noted that star NFL tight end Jimmy Graham “was not a good blocker coming out.”

“Name a good tight end with those types of build that are good blockers at the line of scrimmage?” Grier told reporters.

“I think with us, we’ll spend time, and he said he wants to spend time working to improve his blocking because he wants to be the best all-around tight end in the game. Every kid says that coming out and we’ll see, but we’re very excited to have him.”

Gesicki had several well-publicized drops early in his career, but he overcame that adversity and went on to enjoy an outstanding career with the Nittany Lions.

“Mike took the adversity he had early in his career and used it as fuel to become one of the top tight ends in Penn State history,” coach James Franklin said in a university statement. “He is an athletic freak and showed that with his performance at the NFL combine.

“Even at the next level, he will pose a matchup problem with his ability to high-point the ball and outleap his defenders. He also excelled in the classroom, earning his degree in advertising and public relations in December.”

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