Drake London Surprises Even Himself

Former USC WR Drake London picked 8th by Atlanta Falcons in NFL draft

London is the first receiver selected in the 2022 draft and the first USC receiver taken in the first round since Nelson Agholor in 2015

Adam Grosbard (OC Register)  —  Former USC wide receiver Drake London was selected eighth by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night.

London was the top receiver selected in the draft, the first USC receiver taken in the first round since Nelson Agholor in 2015.

London arrived at USC in 2019 as a four-star prospect out of Moorpark High. He started nine games as a freshman but only made three catches in the first five games of the season. But his role grew, finishing with 39 receptions for 567 yards and five touchdowns, one in each of the final five games of the year.

After his freshman season, London participated on the USC men’s basketball team, playing in two games. But following his breakout sophomore season in which he led USC in receiving yards, he opted to focus solely on football.

Even with the short season, London went on to win Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year along with Pro Football Focus All-American first-team honors after USC went 4-4 with London and 0-4 following his injury.

The broken ankle required surgery and limited London’s ability to work out for NFL teams during the pre-draft process, but it did not prevent him from going in the top 10.

“I wouldn’t say I had a good sense. I just felt like I wanted to be in Atlanta at the end of the day,” London told reporters following his selection. “This is where I wanted to end up and I don’t even know what to say. I’m at a loss for words.”

London’s selection marked the third straight season a Trojan has gone in the first round and the third year in a row a USC receiver has been picked.

In Atlanta, London has the chance to make an immediate impact. The Falcons have been left with little talent at receiver, especially after Calvin Ridley was suspended for at least the 2022 season due to gambling on NFL football.

Paired with tight end Kyles Pitts, the Falcons’ first-round pick a year ago, and London should get plenty of looks early in his career from quarterback Marcus Mariota.

“I feel like that twin tower, me and Kyle, could be special,” London said. “I think [London’s playing style] is just fearless, basically. Someone who goes up, gets the ball regardless of whether he’s ‘covered’ or not. So I feel like you guys are just getting a playmaker.”

ocregister.com

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Trojan5
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Trojan5(@trojan5)
April 30, 2022 10:33 am

https://www.johncanzano.com/p/canzano-two-pac-12-stars-drake-london?s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web Nice article about Drake. Sometimes we forget these players are a son and a brother. Definitely rooting for Drake to succeed.

San Diego Trojan
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San Diego Trojan(@san-diego-trojan)
April 29, 2022 7:47 pm

Congrats to both Drakes. I don’t know how many 17-18 year olds watch Colin Cowherd, maybe their fathers, but it sure can’t hurt recruiting that he is one the biggest SC cheerleaders, and favorably mentions them a lot these days

Trojan5
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Trojan5(@trojan5)
April 29, 2022 8:06 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Allen, have you heard of any Trojans entering the Portal since the end of the spring game? I have seen lots of new entries (Utah lost at least 5 guys), but no SC guys. Feldman is reporting top WR from Pitt may be transferring to SC. If true the WR depth chart suddenly looks strong.

Golden Trojan
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Golden Trojan(@golden-trojan)
April 30, 2022 10:02 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I wonder what is the latest LR will try to get someone? Tomorrow I believe is the dead line to enter the portal. Is there a dead line to add someone from the portal? I would guess they have to be registered by fall semester dead line. Ideally I would think getting them dialed in to summer conditioning asap.

Last edited 22 days ago by Golden Trojan
Golden Trojan
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Golden Trojan(@golden-trojan)
April 30, 2022 10:17 am
Reply to  Golden Trojan

Answer my own question;
Aug 1? fall camp starts?
Aug 19 last day to register w/o late fee,
Aug 22 classes begin,
Aug 26 late registration ends,
Sept 3 Game 1 – Rice,
Sept 9 last day to register.

UtahTrojan
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UtahTrojan(@utahtrojan)
April 29, 2022 7:39 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I like this line: Gentry becomes the latest in what could be a collection of infinity stones in USC’s gauntlet. 

Trojan5
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Trojan5(@trojan5)
April 29, 2022 4:13 pm

https://www.johncanzano.com/p/canzano-former-nfl-first-round-pick?s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web This John Canzano article clearly points out the NFL really is Not For Long.

Golden Trojan
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Golden Trojan(@golden-trojan)
April 29, 2022 5:31 pm
Reply to  Trojan5

Hard to feel sorrow for a guy who got $17 million and played 8 seasons. He put somebody out of a job when he got drafted. It is professional sports, one of the most competitive occupations. Work hard, make as much as you can for as long as you can and manage that money as best you can. Appreciate what you accomplished.

TrojanRJJ
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TrojanRJJ(@trojanrjj)
April 29, 2022 11:38 am

Great to see Drake London get some well earned respect. But, for me, the story of last night was the GA defense. They had 5 first round picks off ONE defense. That must be a record. One of the announcers was saying that two of the other underclass starters will also go first round. That has to be a record. As for O talent, tOSU had probably three 1st round NFL starting WRs on the same team this year (Olave, Wilson and the underclassman who torched Utah in the Rose Bowl). That has been kind of matched by SC three… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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TrojanRJJ(@trojanrjj)
April 29, 2022 11:40 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Still my favorite non-SC coach – got the The Cat fired. He routed the Cat with a team that went 4-8. I will forever be grateful to Shaw and to the OK punt returner who fumbled the punt that cost OK the Big 12 Championship.

Jamaica
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Jamaica(@jamaica)
April 29, 2022 1:42 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

People up here are talking about how OSU HC Sean Smith is slowly but consistently building up the beaver football program foundation. This might be the hardest program to succeed in the conference. He did do what was thought impossible, beat the Trojans in the Coliseum even if the Trojan team was a mess. If I was Smith, I would do everything I could to defeat the ducks with their new HC and turn some talented recruit eyes up here to look at the beaver program. Opportunity knocks sparingly up at OSU where the funding is very limited in minimal… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Jamaica
Jamaica
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Jamaica(@jamaica)
April 29, 2022 1:30 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Something has to be in Shaw’s way up at the farm. Maybe there is another Carol Folt entrenched up there with an agenda causing turmoil? He’s too good of a HC to have this happen by him alone. Just the same, he is very loyal to Stanford as he could have easily bolted to other major programs and start fresh with his overall resume. Best thing that could happen to Shaw is for Condolezza Rice to become the new Stanford president. That would change things up there for sure.

Last edited 22 days ago by Jamaica
Jamaica
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Jamaica(@jamaica)
April 29, 2022 2:12 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I don’t know if Shaw is that much “a lazy recruiter” as much as you say the tough admission restrictions can handcuff any HC trying to recruit. But for a period of years, he was able to bring enough top talent into the program that as you said, could play some tough physical football that won enough games to play for the conference championships multiple years. I can’t ignore that. What came about to dry that momentum up? He personally got too lazy? Or he got told to back off due to it being the IVY league school of the… Read more »

UtahTrojan
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UtahTrojan(@utahtrojan)
April 29, 2022 7:46 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

One of them was that he didn’t have a clue how to coach a football team. That was the biggest hurdle he could never get over.

Alex
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Alex(@alex)
April 30, 2022 11:29 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I remember Stanford from when they had Andrew Luck as their qb.

UtahTrojan
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UtahTrojan(@utahtrojan)
April 29, 2022 7:42 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Sounded a lot like they we talking about USC under dumbo.

Jamaica
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Jamaica(@jamaica)
April 29, 2022 9:30 am

Goes to show you how the ESPN “experts” know about as much as you & me when it comes to the draft. I’m really glad for London. He deserves this recognition for being “the offense” for GH his Soph & junior years. Opponents using double teams mostly couldn’t prevent him from catching the ball and NFL scouts had to notice that. He took and will further take the physical beatings catching the ball. Just hope his body holds up to his fearless play.

RialtoTrojan
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RialtoTrojan(@rialtotrojan)
April 29, 2022 5:52 am

Per the headline I’m not surprised. A surprise is Clay Helton coaching at the college ranks, not that his only unscathed talent of a player is selected in the first round. Surprised is reading an article saying Lincoln Riley is afraid of competition based on the fact that a team backed out of our opening game(as if Riley had anything, other than bowl games, he can influence on the schedule)