Part of the benefit Atlanta Falcons rookie wide receiver Drake London has is the opportunity to compete against one of the league's best cornerbacks every day in practice.
Third-year pro A.J. Terrell, the 16th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, has already established himself as one of the league's best cornerbacks just two seasons into his career. And now he's looking to bestow some of his knowledge on how to improve rapidly upon the Falcons newest rookie.
"Just him trying to figure his way around, same rookie stuff," Terrell said. "But he's getting better each day, each week. Just me giving him a good look and competing, make sure he earns everything. And he's been doing a good job, earning the ball and running good routes to get open and just making plays."
Squarely in a transitional phase, the Falcons need foundational pieces. Terrell certainly fits the bill, and Atlanta is optimistic that London, the eighth overall pick in April's NFL Draft, can grow into one as well.
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Stepping into the No. 1 receiver role as a rookie, London will face the opponents' top corner from the jump, and there's no better way for him to prepare for the challenge than facing Terrell in practice. The two went up against each other Wednesday, with Terrell getting the better of London, much like he has all camp.
While London lost this rep to Terrell, the rookie had an otherwise solid day. He's continuously flashed throughout camp, offering glimpses of why Atlanta took him in the top 10 of April's draft. Reps like the one against Terrell should prove to be invaluable for London as he navigates his first professional campaign.
The good news is that most of the cornerbacks London will face on Sundays won't be as good as Terrell.