Ht – 6’3” Wt – 219lb Class – JR Age – 20
2021 Stats – 88 Rec, 1084 Yds, 7 TD (8 Games Played)
Career Stats – 160 Rec, 2153 Yds, 15 TD (22 Games Played)
Hands – Very suspect earlier in his career, but after Week 1 of 2021, he didn’t drop a pass. Earlier he had a bunch of dropped passes, balls that flew right through his hands, etc. In his final year, he showed great improvement, as he became the WR widely regarded as having “the best hands” in this class.
Ball Skills – London is a phenomenal ball tracker, and when the ball is in the air he makes a habit out of attacking the ball (rather than waiting for it to reach him). This leads to many catches he wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Contested Catch – When watching London’s tape, it truly seemed like all of his catches were contested catches. This is likely due to his issues creating separation. Regardless of the proximity or talent of the defenders, London catches everything. He has the outstanding ability to snag passes out of the air, going in any direction.
Size & Speed – Drake London is very nearly a giant. He has a massive frame, which makes it difficult for defenders to wrap around him to disrupt the pass, which is not something that usually makes a difference with London anyway. Speed, however, is an area of concern. He’s not slow, but he doesn’t have breakaway speed at all.
Release – His size makes his release effortless. He has physical hands and a massive frame, few corners can stuff this giant at the line of scrimmage.
Routes & Separation – Routes lack suddenness, and route breaks are slow and are not nearly sharp enough. For that reason, he hardly separates at the top of the route, and his lack of top speed doesn’t help.
YAC – Surprisingly great for such a poor route runner. London lacks shiftiness and quickness, but he seems impossible to bring down with the ball in his hands. He is very good at stopping suddenly, jumping around defenders, and side-stepping them. To make things more deadly, he is impossible to tackle due to his massive frame, and he consistently wrestled through tackles until multiple defenders were riding his back.
Versatility – London was used as a screen WR, but due to his size he is clearly an outside WR. He is also a phenomenal run blocker, physical and aggressive, and he will be a great scheme fit with a run-heavy team.
Combine – London didn’t participate in any of the drills, but his stock still took a hit. After being reported as 6’5″, measuring at 6’3″ is a massive difference given his play-style. Being a bully-ball receiver requires size, and 2″ shouldn’t b overlooked.
Drake London is among the truly rare players in this draft. It’s common to find players with his size, players with his contested catch ability, or his YAC success, but it’s extremely rare to find someone who can do all of those.
The true knock on his game is his route running and separation, as he hardly ever created true separation. Luckily for him, he is an expert at contested catches. As it seems, he will need to be, since he likely will have even less success separating from NFL DBs.
When it’s all said and done, I think London will be a real threat in the NFL for years. His separation issues could limit his success, but his rare combination of elite traits give him such a safe floor, I wouldn’t have any doubt or concern drafting him.
See Drake London’s overall ranking among other players on my Big Board.