Skip to main content

Falcons Bye Week Rookie Review: Drake London Meeting Expectations?

Taking a look back at the highs and lows of Atlanta Falcons rookie receiver Drake London's impressive rookie season.

Playing receiver in a run-heavy offense while the league around him is pass-happy, it would be easy to look at Atlanta Falcons rookie Drake London's season production and feel indifferent.

But there's more to the story.

Drafted No. 8 overall in April, London has been slotted as Atlanta's No. 1 receiver since training camp ... and answered every call along the way. When the Falcons have needed big plays, be it a chains-moving catch on third down or creating space and finishing in the red zone, London's been as popular a target as any.

Despite Atlanta ranking last league-wide in catchable balls thrown and second-to-last in pass attempts, London's managed to make his mark.

With the Falcons reaching their bye week some 14 games in, here's a look back at London's rookie season to date ...

KEY NUMBERS: 47 receptions for 533 yards, four touchdowns and 31 first downs on 81 targets, all team-highs.

"REMEMBER WHEN": London hurdled Los Angeles Rams cornerback Decobie Durant in Atlanta's Week 2 loss? Returning to the area where he grew up and played collegiately, London had a dominant outing, catching eight passes for 86 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets, with the hurdle capping off his stellar day.

BEST OF THE BEST: If London's performance against Los Angeles wasn't his finest, the honor goes to his most recent showing in the Falcons' 19-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 21-year-old matched a season-high 12 targets with six receptions and a career-high 95 yards.

BIGGEST OBSTACLE: After missing most of the pre-draft process following rehab on the ankle injury that cost him the final four games of his college career, London was injured in his first NFL game ... on his first catch. Facing the Detroit Lions in the preseason, London hobbled off the field and was out for the remaining exhibition games and joint practices, severely limiting his preparation time ahead of the season opener.

WHAT'S TO COME: With Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Pitts out for the remainder of the season, London will continue to be Atlanta's No. 1 weapon in the passing game, perhaps to an even greater extent in terms of target share. Coming out of the bye week, there's a chance he's catching passes from fellow rookie Desmond Ridder, something he's done extensive dating back to minicamp and away from team facilities over the summer.

ONE LAST LINE: "At the end of the day, I'm living out my dream. I'm playing in the NFL right now, (and) being pretty productive in it," London added. "That's all I can ask for, but ... there's a lot left on the plate out there. I'm a competitor, so I'm trying to get more."

You can follow Daniel Flick on Twitter @DFlickDraft

Get your HOTlanta Falcons game tickets from SI Tickets ... here!

Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Falcons? Click Here.

Follow Falcon Report on Twitter.

Want even more Atlanta Falcons news? Check out the team page here