Atlanta Falcons receiver Drake London closed his rookie season strong and Pro Football Focus (PFF) is expecting big things in his second season.
PFF named London to their All-Breakout Team for 2023. He was just one of three receivers selected along Christian Watson of the Green Bay Packers and Kadarius Toney of the Kansas City Chiefs.
With all the praise and accolades going to the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, London was actually the first receiver off the board in 2022 when the Falcons made him the eighth overall pick. Despite a very run-heavy system in Atlanta, London still put together a very strong rookie year, catching 72 passes for 866 yards and four TDs to go along with an 85.3 receiving grade. He saved his best performance for last, as his Week 18 performance saw him catch six passes for 120 yards and an 87.7 offensive grade. London is expected to be the No. 1 receiver in Atlanta and with the lack of other receiving threats around him, expect Desmond Ridder to go to him early and often in 2023.Jim Wyman, PFF
It seems as though the national media is warming to the idea of Ridder being the Falcons quarterback in 2023. This is the second time in as many weeks that London has been selected as a breakout player.
NFL.com’s Pete Schrager singled out London as his breakout player last week, though we still argue with 428 yards in his final five games (a 1,455 season pace), he broke out last year.
London was joined by Kyle Pitts getting attention for being a bounceback player as well. Adam Schein from NFL.com guaranteed Pitts would be back in 2023.
Two Atlanta receivers being predicted to have big seasons? Maybe the media is coming around on Ridder after so much offseason disrespect.
The Falcons are loaded with young weapons on offense. The core-skill players including Ridder, London, Pitts, Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson are all on rookie contracts.
Pitts is the only third-year player of the bunch, and he’s still just 22-years old.
The Falcons have built and offense and bought a defense. Expect some of their premium draft picks to shift to the defensive side of the ball in the future after three-straight top-10 picks going to the offense.
We know they’ll be able to run the ball, and the preseason expectations are shifting towards big years for Drake London and Kyle Pitts despite the uncertainty at quarterback.