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'Much respect to that kid:' Drake London making solid first impression

No. 8 overall NFL Draft pick talks about Desmond Ridder, Kyle Pitts and working vs. Falcons DB

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – After a relatively quiet first day at training camp, rookie Drake London stood out on day 2. He's been feeling 100 percent after recovering from an ankle injury, even before he arrived for OTAs. Players from around the Falcons locker room have been impressed with what they've been seeing in the 2022 first-round draft pick.

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"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 wide receiver Bryan Edwards. "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."

London was all smiles after being back in action. He looked loose, confident, and conformable in Thursday's training camp practice. Over the course of the summer, he has been training with fellow rookie Desmond Ridder, establishing that chemistry on and off the field.

"It's not even the training part. It's hanging out with him, chilling with him, getting to know him as a brother, you know?" London said. "That's going to be my teammate, and I just want to get to know him on a personal basis. And that's what we did back in Cali."

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With the quarterback position uncertain this early into the season, building that rapport with both Marcus Mariota and Ridder has been of importance to London.

He comes into an offense that has seen momentous changes over the last 10 months. A new quarterback. Some new pieces competing on the offensive line, and pretty much a whole new pass-catcher corps outside of Kyle Pitts and Olamide Zaccheaus.

After the NFL Draft in Las Vegas, London talked about joining Pitts in this offense and how excited he was to play alongside the second-year pro. Now that they've had a little time together, the relationship is starting to build amongst the two receivers.

"He's always in my ear here and there, making sure that I'm doing the right things and giving me tips that he didn't know when he was here so it's very good," London said. "Just like Ridder and Marcus and just all the guys, I'm trying to build a connection with him."

With London most likely being a starter for this unit, his size, speed, and playmaking ability will be key for this offense.

Offensive coordinator Dave Ragone sees all the young guys understanding their responsibilities on offense but, more importantly, coming out and being completive amongst each other.

With a talented secondary led by A.J. Terrell and veteran Casey Hayward Jr., being able to compete against those guys in training camp has been helping London's development as a player.

"The DB room is deep, and to be to go against those guys and really show my arsenal and try new things against them is going to help me in the long run," London said. "That goes for pretty much everybody on the defense, you know. Again, this is all new to me so just trying to get through it and showcase what I have."

As training camp picks up and the season nears, the focus for London is taking things one day at a time and continuing to develop his game.

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