We’ll admit, we have been advocating for the Indianapolis Colts to trade for Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, but that’s solely because Jack Doyle is a costly option who’s no longer that viable. Plus, it’d be great to pair Carson Wentz with his former favorite target. Wouldn’t that help make his transition easier?
Another reason? It’s because it feels like the Colts won’t place more trust in Mo Alie-Cox. That much was made clear when they continued to use Doyle almost as much in the passing game last season and then drafted Kylen Granson in the fourth round a few weeks ago.
Alie-Cox will be a free agent after 2021 and is coming off his best season yet. He got his most playing time since joining the Colts as an undrafted free agent back in 2017.
He proved to be a capable blocker and a valuable target for Philip Rivers, who targeted him 39 times despite the fact Alie-Cox had played in just 46% of the offensive snaps. The former VCU basketball star caught 31 balls for 394 yards (12.7 YPC) and two touchdowns.
Perhaps it’s time the Colts place more trust in big-bodied tight end Mo Alie-Cox.
Additionally, NFL analytics expert Cynthia Frelund brought this to our attention and the Colts should be taking note!
"“While he hauled in 31 of his 39 targets (for 394 yards and two touchdowns) and averaged 1.9 yards per route run in 2020 (highest on the Colts, per PFF), Alie-Cox was actually even more productive when he wasn’t the subject of a pass. His productivity in pass blocking (based on percentage of snaps) was only surpassed on the team by three-time All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson.”"
If he’s that good at blocking, why isn’t he used more in general? The Colts can either disguise him as a blocker and have him out-match a linebacker or safety with his size if he releases off the line for a pass.
He could also just bully the defender in front of him if the ball is handed off.
At the end of the day, we don’t know the Colts’ plan for Alie-Cox in 2021. Maybe they unleash him after Wentz views him as a favorable target and he has a career year and is viewed as a future piece for the offense. But you can’t help but feel like he was held back in some sense last year, with so many unnecessary reps going to Doyle, who’s clearly lost a step and is no longer as viable of a threat as he once was.
Either way, 2021 will be a career-defining one for Alie-Cox, and it’ll just depend on if the Colts let him eat or not.