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The NFL Draft is eight days away, and draft hysteria is at an all-time high. Most fans think they have an idea of who their team will draft, but the average fan is wrong most of the time. This includes me, and I definitely have been surprised to see my favorite team draft a player I do not know. Signing players that the average fan does not know is exactly why those front-office executives have those jobs. The executives of these organizations tend to find good players everywhere; the players could be division 1 football players, Division 2 football players, or even college basketball players. Teams are always looking to improve their nucleus of players from the first player on the roster to the last player on the roster.

Big Mo:

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The Colts, since hiring Chris Ballard, have been one of the best drafting teams in the league. Outside of drafting multiple All-Pro players for the Colts, Ballard has also signed a few gems in the haystack. One of those gems is tight end Mo Alie-Cox, who signed out of VCU. Mo Alie-Cox was a college basketball player at VCU, and he signed with the Colts while having not played football since his freshman year of high school. Ballard signed Cox because of his extreme level of athleticism and height for his size. Obviously, Mo Alie-Cox did not have the football experience or knowledge that an NFL player has, specifically tight end. Since signing with the Colts in 2017 and playing in games since 2018, Cox has blossomed into a TE number two or a fringe TE number one.

Cox was signed to the Colts as a “project” type of player in 2017. As mentioned before, Cox was a college basketball player with minimal football experience. As Cox was learning the x’s and o’s, it was clear to  Chris Ballard that Mo’s athleticism would easily translate. Alie-Cox is a 6’5″ 267-pound athlete who possesses a 7’1″ wingspan and 11 3/4″ hands. Cox’s 40 yard dash time is 4.75, and his vertical leap is 35 1/2″. It is more than clear that Cox is one of the most athletic TE’s in the league, and He has shown glimpses of it.

Cox has recorded 46 receptions for 620 yards with four TD’s in 40 games played in his career. Last season, Cox brought in 33 passes for 319 yards with two touchdowns in 15 games played. In his third season, Cox was finally able to get enough targets to show his skillset. Through the first four weeks of last season (before injury), Cox was utilized as a primary weapon in the offense, and it was showing in the red zone especially. Cox recorded more than half of his season yardage total and both of his touchdowns in the first four games of the season (194 yards); then, he recorded in the last 12 games of the season (125).

Obviously, Cox is not a star TE by any means, but in my opinion, he has the make-up to be one. He has continuously improved from day one with the Colts to right now during the off-season. Cox was valuable enough for the Colts to put a 2nd round tender on his restricted free-agent status. The tender means that other teams can try and sign Cox, but the Colts have the right to match the deal. If Cox were to sign with another team, the Colts would earn a 2nd round pick from the team that signs him. I am more than hopeful that the Colts re-sign Cox because he is an important piece to our passing offense, and he has steadily improved in the run blocking department.

With the Colts trading for Carson Wentz, the passing game for the Colts has completely changed. Having a new QB with his old offensive coordinator and one of the best overall offenses in the NFL, the Colts are destined to take the league by storm this season. Being able to catch passes from a mobile quarterback and can throw the ball deep is truly a blessing to have. It will not only elevate Cox’s level of play and production by catching passes from Wentz, but it will also cause defenses to be on edge while trying to stop the Colts offense filled with playmakers. In my opinion, the Colts have almost more than enough skill position production/value on the roster. As much as I would love to add more than one more skill player to the offense, I do not see it happening. The Colts already have three extremely talented running backs and four solid wide receivers, so I do not see them drafting more than one skill position this draft. TE and WR are positions that have been sought after by the Colts this season, so I would not be surprised if the Colts draft one or both positions this year.

Adding another TE into the Colts offense would obviously help make the team better as a whole, but it would hinder Cox’s ability to truly get TE #1 repetitions next season. Either way, no matter what happens next season for the Colts, I am more than excited to see how the season turns out and how Mo Alie-Cox performs. The hype for this season is only growing, and I am ready for the league to see this revamped Colts team!

 

 

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Mason Roach

Twitter: @MasRoach45 Instagram: mroach45

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