Former Viking Rejoins Falcons
Roster moves around the NFL exploded Monday, with teams reporting to training camp and general managers tweaking depth charts.
Former Viking Rejoins Falcons
The Minnesota Vikings signed three players — Colin Thompson (TE), Jack Snyder (OG), and Bobby Evans (OT) — released wide receiver Malik Knowles, added guard Chris Reed to the non-football-injury list, and tossed UDFA defender Andre Carter II on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Meanwhile, a former Viking rejoined the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday — tight end MyCole Pruitt.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted, “Veteran tight end MyCole Pruitt is re-signing with the Falcons, per source. Pruitt caught four touchdown passes for Atlanta last year.”
The Southern Illinois alumnus will vie for a roster spot and hope to make the regular season roster on August 29th when teams trim their ledgers from 90 to 53. Here’s Pruitt’s destination resume to date:
- Minnesota Vikings (2015–2016)
- Chicago Bears (2016)
- Buffalo Bills (2017)
- Houston Texans (2017–2018)
- Tennessee Titans (2018–2020)
- San Francisco 49ers (2021)
- Tennessee Titans (2021)
- Atlanta Falcons (2022-2023)
Pruitt, 31, was drafted by the Vikings in 2015, a 5th-Round selection by former general manager Rick Spielman. The man played 18 games for the Vikings in 2015 and 2016, starting on three occasions.
In the middle of the 2016 season — the year that started white-hot for Minnesota but unceremoniously crumbled after the bye week — Pruitt was demoted to the Vikings practice squad. A month later, Pruitt was released and signed with the Chicago Bears.
Since then, the veteran tight end has become a total journeyman, spending time with eight teams (including Atlanta) in nine seasons.
During his career, the ex-Viking has tallied 62 receptions for 638 yards and 11 touchdowns in 92 games. All of his career touchdowns have occurred with the Titans and Falcons. Pruitt played 40% of all Falcons offensive snaps last year on a team led by Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder at quarterback. Ridder is on deck to start at QB1 this season.
This was the Falcons current TE depth chart before the Pruitt addition:
- TE1 = Kyle Pitts
- TE2 = Jonnu Smith
- TE3 = Parker Hesse
- TE4 = Feleipe Franks
- TE5 = John FitzPatrick
- TE6 = Tucker Fisk
From that group, Pruitt could maneuver into TE3 or TE4.
Pruitt was drafted three spots ahead of former Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs, now a member of the Buffalo Bills. He was part of the Vikings trade (via draft picks) with the Detroit Lions that sent EDGE rusher Danielle Hunter to Minnesota in the 2015 NFL Draft.
The Vikings play the Falcons on November 5th in Atlanta.
Pruitt notched a commendable 75.9 Pro Football Focus grade in 2022 — the fifth-best in the NFL among tight ends per PFF‘s scoring system.
Atlanta also employs former Vikings Taylor Heinicke (QB), Mike Hughes (CB), Kyle Hinton (OT), and Cordarrelle Patterson (RB).
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).