Training Camp for the 2020 season is now underway, and we are starting to get an idea of what this Miami Dolphins team will look like this season. With the team continuing to work through the process, positions such as the offensive tackle, offensive guard and center are beginning to reveal themselves as strengths or weaknesses on this football team. One position that looks set to be a strength for this Dolphins team and offense in 2020 is the tight end group.
Below, we will preview a versatile, young group of tight ends led by up-and-coming playmaker Mike Gesicki. For the quarterback position, tight ends can be a safety blanket in the middle of the field, and this group is no exception. Miami’s offense will flourish in 2020, due in large part to this intriguing group of tight ends.
Mike Gesicki ready to join the ranks of the elite in 2020
Since being drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, expectations have been sky high for a player with unlimited potential like third-year tight end Gesicki. A combine standout, Gesicki showcased himself as an elite athlete with a 4.54 40-yard dash, 41.5-inch vertical jump, and 22 bench press reps. These metrics earned Gesicki an elite Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 9.95. After catching nine touchdowns for the Nittany Lions during his junior year, this was a case where the tape coincided with the testing.
Miami fans were excited to add such an exciting prospect at the tight end position, especially one that could be a red-zone threat and a matchup nightmare for defenses. However, Gesicki has been inconsistent to start his career. On the plus side, he came alive in the second half of 2020, and there is a reason for optimism as Gesicki heads into his third season. After being held out of the end zone completely as a rookie in 2018, Gesicki scored five times in 2019.
All five scores came in the final six games of the season, including the game-winner at New England in Week 17. Gesicki showed the ability to make tough catches, fight through traffic, and be a more consistent option for Ryan Fitzpatrick in this offense. With another year in the system and some reps with rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Gesicki could take this offense to new heights in 2020 and beyond. He is an intriguing sleeper as a top-five tight end for the Dolphins in the AFC.
Shaheen and Smythe add intrigue as backups
Gesicki is not the only Dolphins’ tight end looking to make a name for himself in 2020. Newcomer Adam Shaheen comes over from the Chicago Bears with some enticing ability, while Durham Smythe could start making more plays on offense this season. Smythe is another 2018 NFL Draft pick that has been a steady contributor for Miami the past two seasons. He has started 16 games during his Dolphins career, mostly as an in-line blocker, and he compliments the more athletic Gesicki.
Like Gesicki, Shaheen is a former second-rounder with plus size and athleticism. He was acquired via trade this offseason after failing to make an impact or accumulate meaningful snaps with the Bears. He arrives in Miami with only four career receiving scores but remains a worthwhile gamble for a young, improving Dolphins offense. If he makes the team out of training camp, Shaheen could spell Gesicki occasionally on passing downs in 2020.
Wieting and Myarick look to leave a lasting impression on the Dolphins 2020 tight end room
Two other youngsters looking to make an impact are Iowa rookie Nate Wieting and second-year player Chris Myarick. Wieting only notched 10 catches for the Hawkeyes last season but has shown an excellent early rapport with his fellow rookie QB Tagovailoa. Myarick is a former undrafted free agent prospect out of Temple who was unable to latch on with a team in 2019 but hopes to impact the Dolphins this season.