- Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Atlanta Falcons needed depth at the tight end position, and they actually found one before next week's NFL draft.
As announced Thursday afternoon, the team signed veteran tight end Bear Pascoe, last with the New York Giants. He entered the league as a sixth-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers out of Fresno State in 2009.
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Pascoe saw time at fullback with the Giants, which makes you wonder if the Falcons might use him primarily in a blocking role. He has played in 66 career games with 32 starts, catching 38 passes for 333 yards and a touchdown.
With Tony Gonzalez retiring and Chase Coffman not re-signed, the Falcons needed another body alongside likely starter Levine Toilolo. The only other tight around is Mickey Shuler, since the Falcons recently parted ways with the often-injured Adam Nissley.
At some point next week, the Falcons should reveal their intentions with Pascoe. The move is unlikely to keep them from drafting a tight end, with 10 draft picks presently in their possession.
The tight end spot might not be a focal point in the offense, anyhow, with the return of top receiver Julio Jones the starting point of more multiple-receiver sets. But the team's desire to be tougher up front and stronger in the run game could lead to a role for Pascoe as a blocker.
The Falcons seem to like Patrick DiMarco as a fullback, but maybe the versatile Pascoe could add more to the competition. The Falcons did look into veteran fullback Greg Jones, but nothing materialized after his workout.