When the Falcons selected Drake London with the No. 8 overall pick, it began a run of receivers. Five others were selected in the first round in what was described as a great draft class at the position.
Plenty of receivers have been drafted in the first round who haven’t quite lived up to the hype. Kevin White, N’Keal Harry, Justin Blackmon, and Darrius Hayward-Bay all had careers come up short of their draft slots.
Being in the front office of an NFL organization is difficult. Time and time again, teams will hit on second, third, and fourth-rounders while blue-chip first-rounders fizzle out. It is often the mental makeup of players that derails their career, which is why Falcons fans should feel confident in London panning out.
However, could Atlanta have had a similar player in the second round? ESPN analyst Greg Cosell seems to think so, stating he “did not see a big difference” between London and Colts second-rounder Alec Pierce after watching the two on film.
“I’ve said this before and could well be wrong but I did not see a big difference between Alec Pierce and Drake London.” @GregCosell comparing the Colts 2nd Round pick to the #8 overall pick in the draft on latest @RossTuckerPod: pic.twitter.com/lZWVegGXUU
— Ross Tucker Podcast (@RossTuckerPod) June 23, 2022
“He is an unbelievable athlete. I really like Alec Pierce a lot,” Cosell said. “I think (the Colts’) plan is, barring anything unforeseen, that he’s going to be a starter for them from day one.”
Pierce and London share similar qualities. They’re both big-bodied receivers who play above the rim; however, there is also a stark difference between their draft slots. London, the first receiver off the board, went No. 8 overall, while Pierce, the 12th receiver, was selected No. 53 overall.
That means that other teams around the league not only valued 45 other players higher than Pierce but also ten other players at the same position. It isn’t to say that Pierce can’t go on to have a successful career, but rather how much more likely London is to succeed at the NFL level.
Cosell did say it wasn’t an indictment of London, who he sees as a great prospect. Cosell is a highly respected individual in his field, so this isn’t just some biased Colts fan spouting nonsense. Still, it is quite the hot take to believe a team could have gotten a similar player that much later in the draft.
Photographer: Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire