When the Atlanta Falcons drafted rookie extensive receiver Drake London at No. 8 total, head coach Arthur Smith and basic supervisor Terry Fontenot had a particular imaginative and prescient for him. They wished to double down and have two athletic, imposing downfield targets between London (6-foot-4, 219 kilos) and tight finish Kyle Pitts (6-foot-6, 247 kilos).
That plan hit a bump when London suffered a knee harm whereas catching a 24-yard go in opposition to the Detroit Lions of their preseason matchup, touchdown on his knee whereas being tackled. Nonetheless, the Falcons’ endurance with London’s restoration and his diligence in rehabbing from the medical setback is about to repay.
Drake London’s restoration ‘trending in a optimistic path’
London returned to apply Monday, and it went effectively. He was capable of work with the first-team offense whereas sporting a sleeve on his leg.
The Falcons are optimistic that London may play within the season opener after lacking the rest of the preseason so long as he doesn’t expertise any setbacks between now and Sunday’s kickoff in opposition to the New Orleans Saints.
“It’s trending in a optimistic path,” a league supply stated. “He’s progressing,” Smith stated throughout a press convention. “We’ll see what it appears to be like like.”
London being again would supply an enormous enhance to quarterback Marcus Mariota. It will additionally take some stress off of Pitts, who grew to become the primary rookie tight finish to make the Professional Bowl since Jeremy Shockey in 2002 with the New York Giants.
Pitts caught 68 passes for 1,026 yards and one landing as a rookie final season. He’ll be the go-to man along with his distinctive athletic abilities and pass-catching capacity.
London has large upside
London was the primary extensive receiver drafted. Together with his measurement, leaping capacity, and physique management, London is able to bullying smaller defensive backs.
As a senior on his highschool basketball staff, he averaged 29.2 factors and 11.9 rebounds.
Final yr, he was named the Pac-12 Offensive Participant of the Yr regardless of struggling a fractured proper ankle. He caught 88 passes for 1,084 yards and 7 touchdowns in simply eight video games final season, finishing his college career with 160 catches for two,153 yards and 15 scores.
Each London and Pitts may give the Falcons vital red-zone choices. Atlanta completed twenty fourth within the NFL in red-zone landing proportion a yr in the past(53.7%).
“I do have the dimensions and I really feel like that twin towers factor, me and Kyle, might be one thing particular,” London stated when he was drafted. I’m someone who goes up and will get the ball whether or not he’s coated or not. I believe they’re getting a playmaker.”
And now, a more healthy playmaker.