Drake London leads all Falcons in receiving in NFL debut

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The Falcons lost a heartbreaker to the division rival Saints on Sunday, but there were plenty of silver linings despite the disappointing ending. And No. 8 overall pick Drake London was one of those bright spots. In his NFL debut, London led the Falcons receiving core with 74 yards on five receptions, averaging 14.8 per catch, with his longest being a 31-yard catch and run.



“The whole thing,” London said about what he’ll remember most about his debut. “Every little part of it. Just being out there in front of the fans, the crowd, hearing them scream. It was really really cool being that I haven’t played in the preseason, really just one play. It was cool to be out there just to feel that.”

The chemistry between Drake London and Marcus Mariota is becoming clear. London’s ability to affect the game in multiple ways was on full display — run after catch, catching in traffic, and physicality. Still, the veteran quarterback knows what the rookie is capable of.

“I thought he had a great game,” Mariota said in Sunday’s post-game press conference. “For us, it’s no surprise. We’ve seen that throughout camp, we’ve seen that in OTAs, so I think it’s a great stepping stone but that’s expectation. That’s the standard we’re going to hold him to.”

Despite the back-breaking ending, the Falcons seem to have several building blocks for the future. London will look to build on the successful outing as the Falcons travel west to take on the Rams in Week 2.

“A lot of things to learn from,” London said. “For me personally, us as a unit, us as a team. So just going back and watching film, trying to perfect my craft and perfect our craft as well so that doesn’t happen again.”

Photographer: Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire

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