The San Francisco 49ers need to take a chance on basketball-player-turning-football-player Mo Alie-Cox
First of all, who the heck is Mo Alie-Cox? Well, Alie-Cox is making some waves this April as a rookie free agent. Yes, you read that right — rookie free agent. You see, Alie-Cox is a former Virginia Commonwealth University basketball player who was eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft, but went undrafted.
Due to some peculiar twist, he is now ineligible for this year’s draft. Now, he is free to sign with any team at any time. On April 11 at noon ET, he will hold a private workout at Sports Reality Performance in Richmond, VA, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
In fact, Rapoport went on to report that up to 20 clubs have shown interest in Alie-Cox. Rapoport went as far as saying that the private workout has “generated real buzz.”
At power forward for the VCU Rams, Alie-Cox averaged 9.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this year as a fifth-year senior, according to NFL. com. What makes Alie-Cox an intriguing prospect is his size and playing style. Standing at 6-7 and weighing in at 250 pounds, Alie-Cox just needs to prove that he has the athletic football traits to make the transition.
On the hardwood, he displays a no-nonsense, bruising style. It’s as if he is wearing pads. I am no basketball expert, but his ability to go up and block shots displays his jumping ability quite well. He also demonstrates a strong base from which to block out defenders.
Check out this highlight reel from his junior year in which the video is separated by his skill set: blocking ability, post-up moves, etc.
Why The San Francisco 49ers Should Be Intrigued?
Naturally, like former basketball-turned-pro-football players, Alie-Cox wants to use his size and skill set to play as a tight end. In this year’s draft, the tight end position is absolutely loaded with studs from top to bottom.
Still, the San Francisco 49ers bringing in Alie-Cox would amount to nothing more than an extended tryout. Let’s be honest, which 49ers player isn’t on a season-long tryout except for maybe Joe Staley and NaVorro Bowman? So why not bring in Alie-Cox, stash him on the practice squad and see what he can become in a year or two
General manager John Lynch can still draft a tight end in this year’s draft even if he signs Alie-Cox. Who knows, the 49ers could be signing the next Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham, but only if Lynch sends scouts out on Tuesday.