Mo Alie-Cox, a basketball player who just wrapped up his collegiate career with Virginia Commonwealth, announced his intention to hold a workout ahead of the 2017 NFL draft with an eye on potentially playing tight end.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Network confirmed Alie-Cox is considering the switch to football and will showcase his skills on April 11 to interested teams.
The 23-year-old Virginia native averaged 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks across 35 appearances for the Rams during his senior campaign.
His 6'7'', 250-pound frame made it unlikely he'd become an impact performer at the NBA level. He doesn't have the height to become a prototypical power forward or the perimeter game to excel as a small forward, leaving him in the "tweener" category as a basketball player.
Alie-Cox's body does set him up to become a worthwhile development project as a tight end, though. He possesses terrific athleticism—which is why he blocked so many shots despite his middling size—and a wide wingspan to help him make plays in traffic.
Paul Myerberg of USA Today noted Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten saw the change coming after meeting the forward two years ago. The 10-time Pro Bowl selection felt the basketball player's build and hands made him a perfect NFL candidate.
"He told me I could make the transition to football," Alie-Cox said in 2015. "He said if it's something I wanted to do I should look into it."
It's not uncharted territory, of course. Longtime Los Angeles Chargers star Antonio Gates jump-started the trend after a standout basketball career at Kent State, and the likes of Julius Thomas and Jimmy Graham have since followed in his footsteps.
The biggest question is how much work Alie-Cox needs. The USA Today report noted he last played football as a freshman in high school. The April 11 workout should give teams a better sense of the timetable to transform him into an NFL player and an idea of whether he'd be worth a late-round pick.