The Atlanta Falcons are continuing to accrue depth up front on defense.
On March 27, the Falcons announced they have signed defensive lineman Joe Gaziano. The AJC’s Orlando Ledbetter reported the contract is a one-year deal.
Gaziano was an undrafted free agent for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020. He spent three seasons with the Chargers, appearing in 21 games. His only NFL start came during 2021.
That season, he posted a career-high 13 combined tackles, including 1 tackle for loss, 2 quarterback hits and a pass defense in 14 games. In his other two NFL seasons, he didn’t play in more than five games.
In 2022, Gazino appeared in five contests. He had 1 sack, 8 combined tackles, including 1 for loss and 1 quarterback hit.
Gaziano played college football at Northwestern. In five Big Ten seasons, he recorded 152 total tackles, 49 tackles for loss and 30 sacks. He also had 15 pass defenses, 8 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries.
The Falcoholic’s Dave Choate wrote that he expects Gaziano to compete for a reserve role this summer.
“Atlanta will hope he’ll find his way to more snaps and a greater impact than he did with the Chargers,” Choate wrote. “His scouting report coming into the league gave him credit for his technique and hand usage but dinged him for his frame and quickness, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Falcons can unlock a role for him that will play to his strengths.”
With the addition of Gaziano, the Falcons have 10 defensive linemen under contract. The financial details of Gaziano’s deal have yet to be disclosed.
The big addition the Falcons made on their defensive line this offseason was defensive tackle David Onyemata. The Falcons signed the 30-year-old to a 3-year, $35 million deal.