AC In The AM: Filling Some Important Needs


And on the second day, the Dolphins continued to get better, bringing in a big, strong pass-catching tight end and an outside linebacker who led Ohio State in tackles last season.

• First there was Mike Gesicki, a 6-foot-6, 247-pound athletic marvel, who caught more passes than any tight end in Penn State history. Then there was Jerome Baker, a highly productive player known for playing best in the biggest games.

• Bottom line here: The Dolphins got the young play-making tight end that can be so important to this offense, clearly a major need heading into this draft, and they got a linebacker who will have a real shot at significant playing time.

• By the way, the three draft picks so far are from, in order: Alabama, Penn State and Ohio State. No stage should be too big for these players.

• What do I mean when I call Gesicki an athletic marvel? He runs a 4.54 40-yard dash, is a standout in the weight room and can dunk a basketball with ease. Watch the Penn State videos. Look at the one-handed catches, the way he runs over defenders, the relentless manner in which he fights for extra yards. "He's a hard match-up for people," said General Manager Chris Grier. Which is exactly what the Dolphins needed from the tight end position.

• How about his last two seasons? You want productive? He caught 105 passes for 1,242 yards and 14 touchdowns. The real upside? This player can bring a different dimension to this offense.

• And another nice red zone threat.

• Yes, the criticism is that his run blocking needs work. And it will get work. But as important as it is for Gesicki to hold his own in the trenches, this pick was more about the passing game than anything else.

• If you're looking for historical perspective, it's been 42 years since the Dolphins last used a pick as high as a second rounder to take a tight end, that being Loaird McCreary in 1976.

• The most talented rookie tight end I have covered in my years with this team was Ferrell Edmunds, a third round pick in 1988 who made it to two Pro Bowls. Edmunds had similar size and speed as Gesicki. But Gesicki, based on everything I've seen, has far better hands. Randy McMichael, a fourth-round pick in 2002, was also an excellent receiver and, in fact, his 283 receptions remain most in team history for a tight end.

• But for how long? "There goes my records," McMichael tweeted after learning of Gesicki's selection. We can only hope.

• As for Baker, he led the Buckeyes with 72 tackles last season and had a career-high 16 tackles against Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship game. Once took a Baker Mayfield pass back for a Pick Six. Can he make a difference? He had 17 ½ tackles for losses in his career.

• Is he confident? "I'm the whole package for sure," he says.

• Another important piece for this defense to go with first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick. Two guys that can flat out run.

• The Dolphins have an opening at linebacker next to Kiko Alonso and Raekwon McMillan. Got a feeling Baker is going to get a long look.

• McMillan by the way also went to Ohio State, obviously providing the team a wealth of information on his former teammate. Or, as Grier put it, "inside trading."

• Could be an excellent special teams player as well.

• And now we head to Day 3 – rounds four through seven – which has produced some great players for this franchise over the years. The challenge on Saturday is adding to that list.

Related Content