Did the Colts land the next Antonio Gates?

faThe Indianapolis Colts will sign former VCU basketball player Mo Alie-Cox to its roster. Alie-Cox is an athletic NFL prospect, towering at 6’7” and weighing in at 250 pounds. Last week, he held a workout in which 15 NFL teams attended. He was able to sign with the Colts before the draft because he was eligible for last year’s draft. Mo Alie-Cox burst onto the scene in 2016 when he made some incredible plays for VCU in the NCAA Tournament and should be an exciting prospect to watch this off-season.

 

Alie-Cox has not played football since middle school, but the NFL is no stranger in signing athletic basketball players to team rosters. The Colts are hoping that Alie-Cox can be the next Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham, or Julius Thomas, all who were former hoops stars who turned into NFL tight ends.

Although there are not many ex-basketball stars who make the transition, the Colts have somehow stumbled toward two of them. Current Colts tight end Erik Swoopes also transitioned from college basketball, where he played for the University of Miami.

Alie-Cox’s transition was suggested by Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who watched Alie-Cox at a VCU basketball game in 2015. “He told me I could make the transition to football,” Alie-Cox said, via USA Today. “He said if it’s something I wanted to do I should look into it.”

What does this mean for the Colts?

Colts GM Chris Ballard has not been shy in making moves this off-season, as 2017 has been full of roster moves. Will Mo Alie-Cox become the next Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham? From my observation it appears that a lot of these moves tend to work out well for the NFL teams making this type of move. Although the team recently re-signed TE Jack Doyle, and currently have Erik Swoopes on the roster, I wouldn’t be surprised if Alie-Cox rises on the depth chart. Alie-Cox will bring a unique skill set to the field, which could make it difficult for defenses to match up with. When this move has worked out in the past, tight end’s such as Gates, Graham, and Thomas have been difficult to stop with the right quarterback.

 

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