The Atlanta Falcons got a big upset win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, and one of the catalysts of that victory was a clutch touchdown catch by tight end MyCole Pruitt on the opening drive. Pruitt signed with Atlanta in training camp and impressed quickly in the preseason, but didn’t wind up making the final 53-man roster. Instead, Pruitt signed to the practice squad, where he spent the first six weeks of the season.
It appears Pruitt has finally played his way onto the team, as the Falcons are signing him to the active roster on Tuesday.
With Kyle Pitts missing Week 5’s game against the Bucs, Pruitt was a elevated to the active roster as a reserve. He impressed as a blocker and was elevated once again in Week 6, this time over fellow tight end Anthony Firkser. With a TD catch and another week of stellar blocking, it appears Pruitt may have surpassed Firkser on the depth chart and possibly taken his roster spot.
As of publication, no corresponding move has been announced, but we’ll update the story when we hear something.
Pruitt, 30, is currently in his eighth NFL season. He was initially drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft as a receiving specialist out of Southern Illinois. Pruitt put up an impressive 172 receptions for 2024 yards and 21 TDs over three seasons and impressed at the Combine with a 4.58s 40-yard dash and some terrific jumps, finishing with a 7.55 RAS despite being undersized at 6’2, 251.
He spent his entire rookie season with Minnesota, but wound up cut partway through 2016. Pruitt bounced between Chicago and Houston until he caught on with the Tennessee Titans in 2018—where Arthur Smith was tight ends coach at the time. He remained with the Titans all the way through the 2021 season before reuniting with Smith in Atlanta.
Pruitt is the rare example of a receiving specialist converting to a blocking specialist at the NFL level, although he did have a career year as a receiver in 2021 (14 receptions for 145 yards and 3 TD). I wouldn’t necessarily expect him to have a significant role as a pass-catcher, particularly in Atlanta’s low-volume passing attack. Instead, Pruitt will be relied upon as another quality blocking piece alongside Parker Hesse. With how important the run game is to the Falcons, it makes sense to carry additional blocking specialists on the roster.
Join us in congratulating MyCole Pruitt for making the active roster.