While the first depth chart gives fans a look at what is going on at training camp as far as who is winning position battles, it’s not to be taken too seriously and a lot can change leading up to Week 1.
For example, the Falcons’ 2022 first-round pick out of USC, Drake London, is listed near the end of the wide receiver depth and in a reserve role.
But that is absolutely nothing to worry about, according to Scott Bair of the team’s official site.
“Head coach Arthur Smith generally puts rookies on the back end of the depth chart at this stage of the preseason,” Bair noted in his rundown of the first depth chart announcement.
“That’s why you shouldn’t freak out upon seeing No. 8 overall NFL Draft pick Drake London listed at the No. 5 receiver behind KhaDarel Hodge, Geronimo Allison, Damiere Byrd and Auden Tate,” he said. “He typically runs with the first unit in training camp practices and has been productive even against top Falcons cornerbacks. It’s fair to expect London will play a ton once the regular season begins, as a top receiver worthy of being listed first at his position.”
Bair also takes you back to last offseason when star tight end Kyle Pitts was listed behind ol’ man Lee Smith.
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London Is Impressing at Camp
In his final year with the Trojans, London logged 88 receptions for 1,084 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in just eight games before sustaining an ankle injury that kept him sidelined for the remainder of the season.
But now he looks to back to his old self again as he has been seen making big plays at camp.
And his efforts are not going unnoticed by his teammates.
“He’s a subtle, stay-out-of-the-way type of guy, and I respect that. On the field, man, he really pops out at you,” said veteran wide receiver Bryan Edwards at the start of camp, via AtlantaFalcons.com. “He moves really well in and out of breaks for a bigger receiver. He’s very shifty. He kind of reminds me of a shiftier version of Mike Evans down there in Tampa Bay. Much respect to that kid. I can’t wait to see him grow and blossom into the great player I know he’s going to be.”
Falcons 1st Unofficial 2022 Depth Chart
WR KhaDarel Hodge, Geronimo Allison, Damiere Byrd, Auden Tate, Drake London, Tyshaun James
TE Kyle Pitts, Anthony Firkser, Feleipe Franks
LT Jake Matthews, Rick Leonard, Leroy Watson
LG Elijah Wilkinson. Jalen Mayfield, Justin Shaffer
C Matt Hennessy -OR- Drew Dalman, Ryan Neuzil
RG Chris Lindstrom, Colby Gossett, Jonotthan Harrison
RT Kaleb McGary, Germain Ifedi, Tyler Vrabel
TE Parker Hesse, MyCole Pruitt, John FitzPatrick, Tucker Fisk
WR Olamide Zaccheaus, Bryan Edwards, Frank Darby, Cameron Batson, Stanley Berryhill, Jared Bernhardt
RB Cordarrelle Patterson, Damien Williams, Keith Smith, Qadree Ollison, Caleb Huntley, Avery Williams John Raine, Tyler Allgeier
QB Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder, Feleipe Franks
DL Grady Jarrett, Jalen Dalton, Abdullah Anderson, Timothy Horne
DL Anthony Rush, Nick Thurman, Derrick Tangelo
DL Ta’Quon Graham, Marlon Davidson, Darrion Daniels
OLB Adetokunbo Ogundeji, Arnold Ebiketie, Kuony Deng
LB Mykal Walker, Nick Kwiatkoski, Rashad Smith, Troy Andersen
LB Rashaan Evans, Dorian Etheridge, Nathan Landman
OLB Lorenzo Carter, Quinton Bell, Jordan Brailford, DeAngelo Malone
CB A.J. Terrell, Cornell Armstrong, Mike Ford, Corey Ballentine, Matt Hankins
S Richie Grant, Erik Harris, Henry Black
S Jaylinn Hawkins, Dean Marlowe, Teez Tabor, Tre Webb
CB Casey Hayward Jr., Darren Hall, Isaiah Oliver, Dee Alford, Lafayette Pitts
K Younghoe Koo
P Bradley Pinion, Seth Vernon
LS Liam McCullough
H Bradley Pinion
PR Avery Williams
KOR Avery Williams