Atlanta Falcons rookie wide receiver Drake London scored the first NFL touchdown of his career against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Atlanta was 28-3 behind before Marcus Mariota scored a four-yard touchdown with London.
A native of California, London finished the day with eight receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown.
While London brought some life into the game, the Falcons lost 31-27. And for the second straight week, the Falcons heartbreakingly blew a potential comeback win in the fourth quarter.
The Falcons had several holes to fill entering the 2022 NFL Draft and there were endless ways the Falcons could have gone with their first pick and they picked a wide receiver from USC.
A few days after the draft, Falcons director of college scouting Anthony Robinson explained why the Falcons took London eighth overall.
“He ticked all the boxes that we’re looking for,” Robinson said via the Falcons’ team website. There was nothing left on his table. It has everything you want in a receiver. As for everything else, he has to make an effort, understand the scheme, pick up the offense and you know what we expect of him under the scheme. But I think this guy can be as good as he wants to be.”
In 27 games for the Trojans, London recorded 160 receptions for 2,153 yards and 15 touchdowns. He missed part of his senior year but still managed 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games.
London missed most of the Falcons’ preseason with a knee injury but appear to be back at 100%. With two NFL games to date, London has recorded 13 receptions for 160 yards and one point total.
Meanwhile, the 2021 Falcons first-round picks and “No. 1 receiver,” Kyle Pitts, was targeted just four times and caught two passes for 19 yards, compared to London, who was targeted 12 times.
“This isn’t fantasy football,” Smith said. “We’re just trying to win. If they sit there and pack the middle … they gave us some access over there and [London is] a great physical player.”
Pitts was also kept under 20 yards in Week 1 against the Saints.
With Pitts being used more as a bait, he currently sits last on the Falcons list for yards gaining, with Olamide Zaccheaus and KhaDarel Hodge ahead of him. . .
Not to mention he’s yet to score a touchdown on American soil.
Now that he’s down 0-2 so far this season, Atlanta’s schedule doesn’t get much easier from here. They face the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3, followed by the Cleveland Browns and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.