PFF: Falcons Drake London is highest graded offensive rookie

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Despite catching passes from a pedestrian quarterback in Marcus Mariota, Falcons No. 8 overall pick Drake London is the highest-graded offensive rookie in football this year, according to PFF.

London has come as advertised and maybe even more so. Coming out of USC, the big-bodied receiver was knocked for his quickness and ability to separate but has thrived in the NFL within Arthur Smith’s system.

Through five games, London has totaled 266 yards and two touchdowns on 22 catches, good for 12.1 yards per catch. The former two-sport athlete is on pace for 74 receptions, over 900 receiving yards, and six touchdowns. London’s value will skyrocket if the Falcons can figure out the signal caller position.

Atlanta being without Kyle Pitts is also a nightmare for London, his fantasy owners, and any future bets on him taking home Offensive Rookie of the Year. Hopefully, Pitts’ hamstring injury doesn’t linger any longer because the offense looked feeble against the Buccaneers this past week without him and Cordarrelle Patterson.

Pro Football Focus isn’t the end-all-be-all because Garrett Wilson is having an equally impressive debut season with the Jets. But it should resonate with Falcons fans, including myself, who hated the pick in April. London has shown an ability to affect games as a receiver and a blocker, and that could’ve been the difference in what sold the Falcons’ front office on him; wideouts must block in this offensive scheme.

Similarly to Kyle Pitts, once Drake London fully develops mentally and physically, he will be a nightmare for opposing defenses.

Photographer: Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

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