The 2018 NFL Draft Prospect series breaks down draft-eligible players, highlighting their college production as well as their NFL potential. It’s important for daily fantasy players to know about NFL rookies before they’ve played a down of professional football because they are among the most misvalued assets in all of DFS. People who know NFL rookies have a significant DFS edge. The draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, from April 26-28.
This piece is on Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki.
Updated as of Apr. 10.
Senior | 6’5″ and 247 Pounds | Born October 3, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 1-2
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.54 sec | bench: 22 reps | 3-cone: 6.76 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.10 sec | vertical: 41.5 in | broad: 129 in
Gesicki didn’t arrive at or depart from the Senior Bowl with a lot of hype, but he left the combine with legitimate Day 1 potential thanks to the uber-elite 99 percentile SPARQ athleticism he displayed at the event. In fact, in my most recent mock draft, Gesicki is the only tight end I have coming off the board in Round 1. Athleticism at the tight end position is often a predictor of professional success, and athletically Gesicki is perhaps most comparable to Jordan Cameron, who in his third year in the NFL was a top-five fantasy tight end for the Browns before his career was derailed by injuries. Unlike Cameron, Gesicki was also a strong producer in college, which is why he’s likely to be a top-50 pick.
Although he did relatively little for the first two years of college, Gesicki holds the Penn State record for most receptions by a tight end with 129. After spending his freshman and sophomore campaigns as a backup, Gesicki in 2016 became a major part of Penn State’s passing offense as a junior, functioning as the No. 2 option behind wide receiver Chris Godwin, finishing with 48 receptions for 679 yards and five touchdowns and ranking second among all Football Bowl Subdivision tight ends with 301 yards on targets of 20-plus yards (PFF). Following Godwin’s early departure to the NFL, Gesicki in 2017 led the Nittany Lions with 57 receptions and nine touchdowns receiving. A red zone presence with ample size, Gesicki could be a matchup nightmare for NFL defenses.
Photo Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports