The Atlanta Falcons have themselves a new wide receiver after selecting wide receiver Drake London of Southern California with their eighth overall pick.
“I’m speechless,” London said during his live interview with Melissa Stark right after his name was called.
But what does he plan on bringing to the ‘A’?
“Playmaking ability. With Kyle Pitts over there––I mean it’s twin towers.”
London stands at 6’5″ while Pitts is an inch taller at 6’6″.
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London’s Scouting Report
Current Year: Junior
Weight: 210 pounds
As a true freshman at the University of Southern California, London made his mark, finishing his first year with 39 receptions for 567 yards and 5 touchdowns, averaging 14.5 yards per catch. The dual-sport athlete also played basketball for the Trojans in the winter and continued to prosper during a shortened sophomore season, recording 502 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns, averaging 15.2 yards per catch.
In his final year with the Trojans, he tallied 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. Despite a minor setback, he should be back to feeling 100% for pre-season workouts.
NFL Fans Reaction
A mixture of NFL fan reactions poured across social media after the Falcons selected a wide receiver with their first pick, some happy, some sad and others content with the front office’s decision.
Below is just a sample of how fans are feeling.
For starters, Atlanta Hawks star, Trae Young, is already a fan of the team’s new target option:
But some are heartbroken that the Falcons passed up a top edge rush prospect after the team finished dead last in sacks last season:
There’s also a fan who strongly believes that London was the “worst pick.”
Are the Falcons the new Jacksonville Jaguars? Only time will tell.
Even USC fans don’t think the Falcons make the right move:
And then you have the fans who are O.K. with the pick even if it’s not what they personally wanted or projected:
Falcons Have a Need at Wide Receiver
The Falcons have had a need at wide receiver since trading away Julio Jones last off-season. Things only got worse from there as they “lost” Calvin Ridley to a mental health break amid the 2021 season.
In place of Ridley, Russell Gage was forced to step up alongside Tajae Sharpe and Olamide Zaccheaus. While Gage did a decent job filling a void, he hit the open market at the end of the year and found a new home with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sharpe also became a free agent but it seems the Falcons were fond enough of his production from last season to re-sign him as they did Zaccheaus.
With the re-signing of Zaccheaus, he automatically jumped to the No. 1 receiving slot on the team’s unofficial depth chart. But while the former 2019 undrafted free agent has shown flashes of potential, he hasn’t been reliable enough to be a top wideout that the Falcons can count on that will make them 2022 contenders.
That being said, even with their veteran free-agent additions, the Falcons needed to address the wideout position and they did just that by selecting a top receiver in Drake London.
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