Falcons rookie Drake London flashes potential despite early game exit

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Despite leaving the Lions preseason game early after suffering a knee injury, Falcons rookie Drake London flashed the skills that made him the highest drafted receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft. On a simple drag route, London took a pass from Marcus Mariota 24 yards before being tackled out of bounds.


Even though he wouldn’t return to action, Arthur Smith doesn’t seem too concerned with London’s injury.

“We got different guys on different return-to-play plans,” Smith said per ESPN. “Nothing that we’re really concerned about long term. We’ll be smart. He’s had a really good training camp and like the rest of these guys, some guys we held out today, we’re hoping to get everybody back, healthy and ready to roll when the regular season rolls around.”

Here is Brian Baldinger breaking down the play:

Thankfully, the injury doesn’t seem anything more than precautionary because London is set to have a massive impact in Arthur Smith’s offense. He’s the No. 8 overall pick, and the Falcons are already thin on playmaking pass catchers.

The play is just a glimpse into what Arthur Smith wants to do with the Falcons’ offense. He gets Marcus Mariota on the perimeter via play action boot with Drake London crossing the field.

AJ Brown and Corey Davis were so effective in Tennessee with Smith because of their ability to attack defenses over the middle and then threaten after the catch. This is exactly what London does so well, and it should have Falcons fans excited for the future in Atlanta.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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