Atlanta Falcons top draft choices answer some roster questions
By Joe Carlino
Atlanta Falcons eighth overall pick: Drake London, Wide Receiver (USC)
Okay, let’s get formalities out of the way. For those who have read the mock drafts, it’s pretty obvious that Atlanta should’ve went with a defensive player eighth overall. From a personal standpoint, getting Kyle Hamilton was the play, and now that Baltimore’s gotten their successor to Ed Reed, watch out there.
Instead, Atlanta went with the choice that all but signals the end of the Calvin Ridley era in Atlanta once the suspension ends. And at first, with players like Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, and even a surging Jameson Williams, the Falcons opted to take Drake London out of USC with their first round selection.
Once a former basketball player, London’s unique 6-foot-4 size normally brings about a lack of route running, but he does so effortlessly, routinely creating separation between his defender. While his breakaway speed is an area of improvement, having ball security is critical to succeed in the NFL, and his ability to secure targets is highly touted.
Also, as stated prior, the comparisons straight out of college are still massively out there, but there is a right to a platter of crow if he proves this front office right for selecting him over the other top receiver threats.
And while he recently referred to the threat of him and Kyle Pitts as the “Twin Towers” (to some chagrin), adding him to that group along with free-agent acquisition Auden Tate does offer a lot of opportunities for Mariota (and an eventual successor) for 50-50 balls to fall in Atlanta’s favor and not the defense.
The Falcons took the safe player, and now let’s see how he fits into the culture.
Grade for London: B-