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Drake London

Rookie receiver off to a hot start

Drake London is off to a hot start. But can he keep it up? Or will he be undermined by the lesser supporting cast that is around him?

You’ve seen the numbers. London opened by catching 5 passes for 74 yards against the Saints. And he followed that up by going 8 for 86 against the Rams. He’s looking pretty solid.

Now he’s just got to keep it up. The Falcons have been using him. He’s piling up the catches, while Kyle Pitts (arguably the most underused player in the league) has caught only 2 passes in four straight games.

For the heck of it, I combed through the historical numbers. Since the merger in 1970, only 15 other wide receivers have started their careers by going over 70 receiving yards in each of their first two games. We can then look at where those guys tended to finish up in their first year.

Since Randy Moss tore things up in 1998, seven rookies have gone over 70 receiving yards in both Week 1 and Week 2. All but one of them finished their rookie season ranking between 20th and 51st at the wide receiver position (using PPR scoring). With 2016 Will Fuller, who finished 61st, he missed a couple of games and was undermined by Deshaun Watson missing most of the season with a torn ACL.

YearPlayerRdNoYdsTDPPRRkFirst 2 G
1970Ron Shanklin, Pitt.2306914123.1229-196-1
1972Mike Siani, Oak.1284965107.6257-182-2
1974Charlie Wade, Chi.17396831111.8196-203-0
1976Sammy White, Min.25190610200.6412-210-2
1984Louis Lipps, Pitt.14586011204.11310-260-3
1989Shawn Collins, Atl.1588623162.22811-171-0
1995Will Moore, N.E.FA43502199.26814-189-0
1998Randy Moss, Min.1691,31317306.7210-184-2
2000Peter Warrick, Cin.1515927167.0308-155-0
2003Andre Johnson, Hou.1669764186.62211-147-0
2008DeSean Jackson, Phil.2629124186.83012-216-0
2009Johnny Knox, Chi.5455276133.7518-152-1
2015Stefon Diggs, Min.5527204149.34713-216-0
2016Will Fuller, Hou.1476353128.2619-211-1
2019Hollywood Brown, Balt.1465847146.44612-233-2
2022Drake London, Atl.1?????13-160-1

—Ian Allan

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