USC's Drake London Taken By Atlanta Falcons In First Round Of 2022 NFL Draft
LOS ANGELES —USC wide receiver Drake London was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday (April 28), as the No. 8 overall pick.
London is USC's highest drafted player since Sam Darnold was taken at No. 3 overall by the New York Jets in 2018, and the first Trojan wide receiver to be selected in the first round since Nelson Agholor was taken at No. 20 overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.
He is now the third highest USC wide receiver to ever be picked, behind Keyshawn Johnson who was selected at No. 1 overall by the New York Jets in 1996, and Curtis Conway who was chosen with the No. 7 overall pick by the Chicago Bears in 1993.
London is USC's 517th all-time NFL draftee. USC is second behind Notre Dame's 521 for most NFL draft picks produced. He also is USC's 84th first rounder, second most behind Ohio State's 87. He continues USC's streak of having a draftee every year since 1939, tied with Michigan. USC maintains the longest active streak (21 years) with a player drafted in the Top 3 rounds.
This is the third consecutive year that USC has had a first round pick: offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker was selected 14th overall in 2021 by the New York Jets and offensive tackle Austin Jackson was the 2020 Draft's 18th pick by the Miami Dolphins.
London is the 18th Trojan wide receiver drafted since 2000, including the 11th in the top two rounds.
He is the first Trojan picked by the Falcons since offensive tackle Sam Baker was selected in the first round with the No. 21 overall pick in 2008.
— USC Football (@USC_FB) April 29, 2022
London had 160 career receptions (17th on USC's career list) for 2,153 yards (16th on USC's all-time chart) for a 13.5 average per catch with 15 TDs, plus a 2-yard run and a tackle. He had 9 career 100-yard receiving games. He appeared in 27 games in his career, with 23 starts.
London, a 2021 All-American first teamer, was one of the most electric players in college football last season.
A Biletnikoff and Maxwell Award semifinalist, London was also named the 2021 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and made the All-Pac-12 first team as a junior.
Before suffering a broken ankle on a tackle while catching a touchdown late in the first half of Game 8, London had 88 receptions for 1,084 yards with 7 TDs in just 7.5 games. He was on pace to break Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee's 2012 USC season records in catches (118) and receiving yards (1,721). He had 5 games in the 2021 season with 10 or more catches and 6 with at least 130 receiving yards. He and Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree in 2007 are the only Power 5 players with 88 catches through 8 games. He is the only Trojan to twice have 15 or more catches in a game and the first Trojan with 5 consecutive 100-yard receiving outings since Lee in 2012 (he has 9 total in his career). He had a reception in 21 consecutive games, dating to 2019.
In 2020, he started all 6 games and had 33 receptions for 502 yards (15.2 avg) with 3 TDs and made a tackle. He was named to the 2020 All-Pac-12 second team. As a freshman in 2019, he had 39 receptions for 567 yards (14.5 avg) with 5 TDs.
The 2022 NFL Draft continues with the second and third rounds on Friday (April 29) and then concludes with the fourth through seventh rounds on Saturday (April 30).
USC could have 5 players chosen in the 2022 Draft. Looking to join London as Trojan draftees are linebacker Drake Jackson, running back Keaontay Ingram and cornerbacks Chris Steele and Isaac Taylor-Stuart.
The moment the dream became a reality.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) April 29, 2022
— NFL (@NFL) April 29, 2022
— Dråkë (@DrakeLondon_) April 29, 2022