While the tight end position is not one of pressing concern for the Raiders, there will be plenty on display at the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl down in Mobile. With Lee Smith hitting free agency and Jared Cook in the final year of his contract, you better believe the Raiders will be paying attention to the many terrific tight ends playing in this exhibition match.
The first one we will touch on is Mike Gesicki of the Penn State Nittany Lions. Gesicki was a big, downfield playmaker for quarterback Trace McSorley in James Franklin‘s Nittany Lions offense. His productivity as a pass catcher is a big reason that former Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead was able to land the Mississippi State Bulldogs head coaching gig this offseason.
Gesicki is a massive target at 6-foot-6, 257 pounds. In his four years at State College, Gesicki had 129 receptions for 1,481 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Keep in mind that his collegiate career overlapped with the dynamic running back that is Saquon Barkley. Had Penn State had a lesser tailback to lean on, we could have seen more passes from McSorley to Gesicki the last few years.
Gesicki has shown that he can thrive in a pro-style offense while at Penn State. His build will allow him to be a great blocker, as well as a dynamic receiving threat downfield. This guy will be able to exploit mismatches at the next level. The bigger question is how high would the Raiders be willing to take a tight end? Gesicki will be one of the most coveted tight end prospects in this draft class.