Mike Gesicki

Dolphins Sign Round 2 TE Mike Gesicki

In reaching a deal with second-round tight end Mike Gesicki, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter), the Dolphins now have their full draft class signed. Here’s the list:

Gesicki signing his four-year rookie contract leaves just three second-rounders — Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, Colts guard Braden Smith and 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis — unsigned.

Miami used rare draft capital on a tight end in pulling the trigger on Gesicki. The franchise had not previously picked a tight end in the second round since 1976 (Loaird McCreary) and hadn’t chosen a tight end higher since 1974 (Andre Tillman, No. 38 overall).

The Penn State product has a clear path to playing time, if he can show he’s NFL-ready. A.J. Derby, a 2017 waiver claim, headlines the Dolphins’ list of tight ends.

Extra Points: AAF, Dolphins, Ray, Broncos

The Alliance of American Football is set to debut this winter. While the league is expected to provide an alternative for NFL fans, founder Charlie Ebersol said they aren’t intending to put their counterpart out of business.

“It’s a positive relationship,” Ebersol told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. “One of the reasons that we made the contract the way we do for the players where they have an out to go to back to the NFL is because we recognize the fact just like the MLS recognizes the fact that the Premier League is ultimately gonna pay players more and put them on a bigger stage than the MLS will. They support that. We support the same concepts. I think that it’s a foolish to try to pick a fight with a $150 billion business when you’re starting up and when you’re also not competing. I mean none of my content touches any of their content. Ultimately, it’s a complementary, positive relationship.”

Ebersol touched on several additional points during the interview, including the ability for players to switch to the NFL should they receive an offer.

Let’s take a look at some other notes from around the NFL…

  • Dolphins second-round tight end Mike Gesicki has yet to impress during the media portions of practices. While the Penn State product clearly has some work to do, it sounds like Miami’s coaching staff is optimistic about the prospect’s future in the NFL. “Mike is a little bit unique,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains told Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald. “[Durham Smythe] is a ‘Y’ and Mike G is more of a … We’ve got to find out exactly what he can and can’t do and what he can and can’t handle early. As the season goes and the offseason goes and training camp, his package will expand and his routes will expand as we found out what he can and can’t do.” To start the season, Gesicki is expected to backup A.J. Derby.
  • Beasley writes that filling Ndamukong Suh‘s role is easier said than done. However, several Dolphins players could be ready for the challenge, and the writer specifically points to 2017 third-rounder Vincent Taylor. “It’s hard losing a guy like Suh just knowing what he’s capable of doing; but at the end of the day, it’s a business decision,” Taylor said. “I know all of the things when I was coming in, what he taught me, so I learned some of the things that he taught me.”
  • The Broncos declined to pick up Shane Ray‘s fifth-year option. As a result, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post believes the injured linebacker should take as long as he needs to recover from wrist surgery. The writer explains that returning early and re-aggravating the injury could hurt Ray’s market value. However, if the linebacker is productive and healthy in a lesser playing sample, he still might be able to secure a lucrative contract. The 2015 first-rounder had a disappointing season in 2017, compiling only 16 tackles and one sack in eight games (seven starts).
  • O’Halloran also observes that Broncos tight end Jake Butt has been an offensive standout during practices. “It’s our responsibility as tight ends and slot (receivers) to win one-on-one match-ups on the inside,” he said. “We’ve got to make plays when our number is called to take a little bit of pressure off those guys (Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders) on the outside.” Butt could end up with the starting gig in Denver, but he’ll have to compete with a grouping that includes Jeff Heuerman and Troy Fumagalli.

NFC Notes: 49ers, Rams, Cowboys, Giants

The 49ers are set to host a private workout for LSU edge-rusher Arden Key, he said during an interview with NFL Network’s “Path to the Draft,” making him the 10th player to visit with the team prior to the draft. The Saints and 49ers are the only two teams who have set up private workouts with Key, who’s projected to go somewhere in the first two rounds.

Key said on NFL Network that he will have a visit with the 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., along with the private workout. He also said he has visits planned with the Redskins, Titans, Bears and Cowboys.

The 49ers hold the ninth overall pick in the draft. They’ve also held private visits with Ohio State linebacker Jerome Baker, Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter, Iowa center James Daniels, Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, Yale defensive back Foye Oluokon, Kansas State wide receiver Byron Pringle, Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith and Florida State wide receiver Auden Tate.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • The Rams are just about out of cap space after a flurry of pickups — most-recently acquiring wide receiver Brandin Cooks from the Patriots — and have seven current starters due to become unrestricted free agents next offseason. ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez pointed to three reasons why Rams general manager Les Snead is confident the team will compete for a Super Bowl beyond 2018, with the first being the value at quarterback the team is getting with Jared Goff. Gonzalez also noted the team will be near the top of the league when it comes to available salary cap over the next two offseasons and that they have a young offensive core in Goff, Todd Gurley, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
  •  Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hinted at where the team may go with the No. 19 overall pick in the draft. “There is some defensive talent that has a chance to drop,” Jones said via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. “Therein lies your opportunity. … If a number of quarterbacks are taken, a number of running backs are taken, two or three of those offensive tackles hit. Really as much as anything there could be a couple of guards taken ahead of us.”
  • Yale outside linebacker Matt Oplinger — last year’s Ivy League Defensive MVP — was apart of the contingent at the Giants‘ local pro day on Friday, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN (on Twitter). Raanan also reported (on Twitter) that the Giants hosted Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki for a visit but it won’t count toward their 30 afforded visits because he is a New Jersey native.