NFL Draft 2017: VCU basketball player, TE prospect Mo Alie-Cox declared a free agent

Alie-Cox could follow in the footsteps of Antonio Gates, Julius Thomas and other tight ends who transitioned from hoops.

Virginia Commonwealth basketball player Mo Alie-Cox, who is trying to become an NFL tight end, won't be in the 2017 draft, a league spokesman confirmed Wednesday to NFL Media.

A redshirt senior this basketball season, the 6-6 starforward, 23, was "eligible for the 2016NFL Draftand has remained a free agent since the conclusion of that draft," the spokesman said, adding that Alie-Cox can sign immediately with the team of his choice.

The timing is interesting in that the intriguing prospect will work out for teams Tuesday in Richmond, Va., according to the report.

MORE: VCU basketball standout Mo Alie-Cox eyes jump to NFL

The question teams are seeking to answer:Can Alie-Coxfollow in the footsteps of college basketball players turned NFL stars such asAntonio Gates,Julius Thomasand Jimmy Graham?

Meantime, according to NFL Media, Alie-Cox's agent — who says "interest is widespread" —sent a letter to teams saying his client would not only perform standard pro day drills Tuesday, but also would do other drills if a team is considering him for a particular position, even one otherthan tight end.

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