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Drake London

Atlanta No. 1 has breakout potential

I've come around to the idea of selecting Drake London this year. There was a point where I wanted nothing to do with the Atlanta passing game, which almost definitely will take a backseat to all the running this team will do. But I think London will be busy anyway.

As a rookie, London put up modest numbers for a player selected 8th overall. He caught 72 passes for 866 yards, with just 4 touchdowns. Nothing to get too excited about. But he was more productive down the stretch, and after the quarterback switch from Marcus Mariota to Desmond Ridder.

In the final five games of the season, four of which were started by Ridder, Drake had 48 passes thrown his way. That kind of target activity projected out over a full season would have totaled 163, which would have been more than any wide receiver in the league besides Justin Jefferson, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill. Even as it was, only seven receivers had more targets in their final five games of the season.

Data showing the final five games for every NFL receiver last year, from, is shown in the table below.

JaMarr Chase, Cin.604044111.03
Justin Jefferson, Min.574053213.32
Keenan Allen, LAC544444410.12
Garrett Wilson, NYJ532631312.00
DeAndre Hopkins, Ariz.502832111.51
A.J. Brown, Phil.492754620.22
DeVonta Smith, Phil.493448514.33
Drake London, Atl.483142813.80
T.J. Hockenson, Min.46302949.82
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Det.463033111.00
CeeDee Lamb, Dall.453843111.33
Davante Adams, L.V.452134016.22
Travis Kelce, K.C.443337011.20
Cooper Kupp, LAR443341012.43
Chris Godwin, T.B.433637510.41
Diontae Johnson, Pitt.422531712.70
Mike Evans, T.B.422642216.23
Tyreek Hill, Mia.412333114.42
Jerry Jeudy, Den.413345813.93
D.K. Metcalf, Sea.412325010.91
Evan Engram, Jac.393138012.32
Tyler Lockett, Sea.392732512.03
Nico Collins, Hou.39222099.52
K.J. Osborn, Min.383038812.93
Michael Pittman, Ind.38251867.42
Dalton Schultz, Dall.372223410.62
Chris Olave, N.O.362128213.41
Marquise Brown, Ariz.35181789.90
Zay Jones, Jac.352224511.14
Jahan Dotson, Was.352134416.43
Stefon Diggs, Buff.352431913.32
Christian Kirk, Jac.342227912.71

It should be noted that Kyle Pitts was hurt in those games, so that's one target that wasn't around. And now they've got Bijan Robinson on the roster, who's going to soak up some looks.

But it was a nice workload for London down the stretch while working with Ridder, and I think it's reasonable that the two will pick up where they left off when this season kicks off. I'm expecting to have London on a team or two.

--Andy Richardson

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