Falcons select Drake London at No. 8

Posted: 29/04/2022 in NFL
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The Atlanta Falcons selected USC wide receiver Drake London with the No. 8 overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.

London was the first wide receiver taken in this year’s draft. He heads to Atlanta after a 1,000-plus-yard campaign with USC in 2021. London also hauled in seven touchdowns last season on 88 receptions.

The Falcons are in need of another receiving option opposite second-year tight end Kyle Pitts. Wideout Russell Gage, who finished second on the team in receiving yards last season, departed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, while Calvin Ridley will miss the 2022 campaign and possibly more due to suspension.

Atlanta is amid a transformation on offense after trading longtime quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts earlier this offseason. London will likely catch passes from Marcus Mariota, who is currently expected to be the starting quarterback.

Scouting profile: Drake London


London is a big but lanky outside receiver who showed some versatility in college by winning on downfield routes as well as screens. His basketball background helped him “outrebound” defenders in contested situations and he displayed scrappiness and tackle-breaking ability after the catch. However, it’s hard to ignore the physical advantages he enjoyed over most of his competition. That makes you wonder whether he’ll be as effective against bigger, faster, and more skilled NFL defensive backs. He doesn’t turn 21 until July, though, so there’s plenty of time for him to add muscle and develop his game. It’s also worth noting that he suffered a season-ending broken ankle in October, but it’s not expected to impact his rookie year.

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