The Falcons only have one tight end under contract for 2021 — Hayden Hurst — but he’s an upper-echelon tight end in this league. Terry Fontenot is going to have to address this position through the draft or free agency. Regardless of which avenue he chooses, that tight end won’t have to carry a full workload — thanks to Hurst.
The Falcons should look no further than Mo Alie-Cox, who could actually replace Hurst in 2022 when his contract expires. They would immediately become one of the best tight end duos in the NFL, and as I mentioned in my tight end free agent targets, Mo Alie-Cox is #1 on my free agent wishlist — I’ll break him down a little more.
MAC is one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL. Zach Hicks wrote a piece dissecting his run-blocking, in part, due to Colts’ general manager Chris Ballard mentioning years ago he thought Mo-Cox could be one of the best blocking tight ends in football. Ballard’s eye for talent is unparalleled, so his word should carry weight. Tight ends being able to block is imperative in Arthur Smith’s offense, and Alie-Cox has Mercedes Lewis’ size to handle defensive ends with ease.
Some clips of Mo Alie-Cox blocking on Sunday. Still would like him to get a little lower and drive players but he's so good in this area. Insane size and strength allows him to block defensive linemen with ease. TE1 pic.twitter.com/JduArqI9hb
— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) September 22, 2020
Alie-Cox is a former collegiate basketball player at VCU, so his outlook as a receiver is obvious. Much like Antonio Gates, he uses his basketball skills on the football field to high point footballs, making the most out of his size to box out defenders. In a limited role, he recorded 31 catches for 394 yards and two touchdowns with Colts.
TE Mo Alie-Cox will not be ignored. pic.twitter.com/oehH9En0VJ
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) September 20, 2020
Buried behind Trey Burton and Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox was unable to play significant time. In such a limited role, it is hard to tell whether or not the glimpses were just flashes of something that’ll never come to fruition in a full-time role, but at the very least, he will provide value as a blocker and is a good depth piece to add. He needs a little refining in his blocking and route running, but Arthur Smith is the perfect person to help MAC.
It is imperative that Arthur Smith gets another capable tight end to use as a blocker, but the upside Mo Alie-Cox provides as a receiver is too good to pass up. He certainly won’t get an insane contract this offseason, so the Falcons could buy low while he is still developing. Smith turned Delanie Walker back into a star; he’s why Jonnu Smith is going to get a fat contract this offseason, and he is the reason for Anthony Firkser‘s ascension.
Photo: MSA/Icon Sportswire