Drake London Fantasy Football Outlook: Falcons Rookie Could Have WR2 Upside As Early As 2022

Drake London Fantasy Football Outlook: Falcons Rookie Could Have WR2 Upside As Early As 2022 article feature image

Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Falcons rookie WR Drake London

Drake London was the first wide receiver off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft, but should he be the first rookie wide receiver off the board in your fantasy football drafts?

Our fantasy football expert teamed up with a former NFL general manager to break down expectations for the Falcons rookie in Year 1 and beyond.

Drake London Fantasy Football Outlook

by Samantha Previte, fantasy football analyst for Action

Landing Spot Grade: B+

After downgrading at quarterback, and with one of the league's weakest offensive lines, the Falcons are a terrible landing spot at first glance.

In fairness, the Falcons did draft Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder in the third round, who will likely sit behind Marcus Mariota to open the season. If Ridder does pan out, though, Atlanta could be an even more favorable landing spot for London in the long-term for dynasty managers.

The good news for London is the Falcons’ lack of receiving depth with Calvin Ridley suspended for the entire season. Ridley sat out most of last season, which forced Atlanta to lean on then-rookie tight end Kyle Pitts and versatile pass-catcher Cordarrelle Patterson. The team also lost Russell Gage, and added no one noteworthy during free agency.

TLDR; this squad was in dire need of a wide receiver and will function much better with a true WR1 as it once did with Julio Jones. I’m not expecting London to produce at Jones’ level right out of the gate, but few rookies fell into more favorable situations purely from a depth chart perspective.

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2022 Fantasy Potential: High-end WR2 upside if all the stars align, but more likely a WR3.

There is a decent chance he starts out slow, especially returning from the right ankle fracture that ended his final college season. early That said, there isn’t the same competition on Atlanta’s depth chart that other rookie wideouts will face, which will allow London to make an immediate impact for the Falcons and fantasy football managers.

Drake London Pre-Draft Evaluation

by Randy Mueller, former NFL general manager and team executive

London is big, he's physical and his strength is catching the football in traffic and when covered. He made his living at USC on back shoulder throws and 50/50 balls, which will be the same at the NFL level.

I see London as being a real option on third downs and in the red zone vs. smaller defenders, and will overall be a matchup nightmare because of it. He is more nifty than fast — he breaks tackles with balance and strength, and he has very good body control for a big man. He’s smart, reads coverage and finds soft spots versus zones like a pro receiver already.

His football IQ is very high, which should help his transition to the next level.

Icon Sportswire/Getty Images. Pictured: Drake London.

London will get covered at the NFL level, but at nearly 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, I’m not sure what defenders can do to make a play on the ball.

London will not be able to run by NFL corners (4.56 40 at the combine), but his double moves and deceptive footwork should get him open enough to be productive as soon as he gets healthy. He is a possession guy who should catch his share of third down conversions.

A comp for London might just be another USC receiver who was a second-round pick of the Colts in the 2020 NFL Draft: Michael Pittman Jr.

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