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Question of the Week: What could Year 2 hold for Drake London? 

Scott Bair and Tori McElhaney discuss. 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – For Drake London in his second year, he feels there is still a lot left on the table for him after his rookie season. 

He finished his first year in the league at a good starting point. The former No. 8 overall pick averaged 12 yards a catch, brought in four touchdown receptions and finished the season with 866 yards. 

Between London, Kyle Pitts, Cordarrelle Patterson and - now - Bijan Robinson as well as Tyler Allgeier, the Falcons are not without offensive weapons. With London being WR1, what does 2023 look like for him with a revived offensive corp around him? Scott and Tori write out their thoughts on London's second year in the league.


Tori: I think one of the best things for London is having these weapons around him. By the end of the 2022 season it did feel as though it was much easier for secondaries to key in on him because - at times - the Falcons didn't have anyone to take pressure off of him. Think Kyle Pitts or Cordarrelle Patterson. With those two and Bijan Robinson and Mack Hollins and Scotty Miller and Jonnu Smith? And, and, and... I can't help but think this all bodes well for London. 

That's not even getting to the real reason I think this is good for London, either. That involves his connection with Desmond Ridder. Three of London's best games in 2022 came in the final four games of the season when Ridder was his quarterback. The one time London broke the 100-receiving yards mark came in the final game of the season, a game that saw Ridder finish with a QBR of 108.2. 

Like all quarterback/wide receiver duos, Ridder and London's individual successes go hand in hand. So, if the expectation for Ridder is to get the ball into his playmakers' hands, well, London is one of said playmakers. I'm not worried about London getting his receiving yards. If he's around that 800 to 1,000-yard mark, great.

My main raised expectation for London, though, is to get his touchdown catches up. He only had four in 2022. I'd like that number to jump, and with it, so should the Falcons overall success in the red zone, too.


Scott: There was a period in the middle of last season where Drake London wasn't getting targeted much at all. Then there were times when his targets and catches were high but his yards per reception numbers were low.

Then you look at the final five games, all but one working with Desmond Ridder, and start to see the type of production expected from the first receiver taken in 2022 and the No. 8 overall pick. If we look closer at the final four with Ridder, the numbers are impressive and could speak to the type of impact he might have in 2023, like Tori said.

Ridder had tons of trust in London, throwing to him when open and in heavy traffic. London has an ability to wrestle the ball away from defenders and make tough catches, required to be as efficient as he was while collecting 25 receptions for 333 yards on 36 targets. That's good enough for a 69 completion percent and 13.32 yards per catch. If he can do that over the course of 17 games, he'll be in good shape.

Fumbles are something London must tighten up. Ball security was of no issue in college, but he got the ball taken away three times in 2022, all at crucial times, and lost each fumble. He has been working hard this offseason to shore up a rare weakness heading into Year 2.

Take a look at our number 5 on May 5th with 55 highlights of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London.

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