2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Drake London

  • Drake London, 6-5/210

  • Wide Receiver

  • USC

  • Drake London Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Phenomenal after the catch
  • Physical runner
  • Hard to tackle
  • Tough receiver
  • Willing to go across the middle
  • Quality route runner
  • Strong hands
  • Elusive
  • High points the ball
  • Gritty receiver
  • Reliable; rarely drops passes
  • Tracks the ball well
  • Adjusts well
  • Late hands
  • Good technique
  • Adept at finding soft spots in zone
  • Durable
  • Experienced and successful against good college programs
  • Makes big plays in the clutch
  • Gives a size mismatch
  • Ready to contribute immediately

  • Weaknesses:
  • Average speed
  • Could have separation issues from NFL corners
  • Could struggle to get open from man coverage
  • Should add more weight to help overpower defensive backs
  • Lacks deep speed

  • Summary: When Drake London walked onto campus, the Trojans already had some veteran receivers who were future pro prospects. Players like Michael Pittman Jr., Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns were being scouted for the next level, and Pittman ended up a future second-round pick while St. Brown looks to have been a steal as an early fourth-rounder. Those older players were all good receivers for quarterback Kedon Slovis, but London was too good to keep on the bench, rotating into the game and flashing some special ability. Over his 2019 freshman season, he brought in 39 receptions for 567 yards and five touchdowns.

    London took on a bigger role in 2020, as a replacement for Pittman, but the pandemic-shortened season limited London to only six games. The sophomore still recorded 33 catches for 502 yards and three touchdowns. London then began dominating as a junior in 2021. His season only lasted eight games, however, ending due to a broken ankle. London caught 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns during his year.

    In the NFL, there are different types of mismatch receivers. Some kill defenses with vertical speed; some are amazing route-runners who generate consistent separation; and others are too big and physical for defensive backs to contain. London is the lattermost as a big wideout is a warrior on the football field. He also plays with the infectious attitude of a true competitor. That makes London a very fun player to watch and the kind of receiver who energizes his entire team.

    London’s combination of size and strength make him a real problem for defensive backs downfield. He uses his long body and leaping ability to provide a big catch radius to his quarterback, and London presents the danger to out-leap defenders to make receptions in 50-50 situations. With his height, leaping ability, and strength to box out defenders, London is never really covered. He also tracks the ball well and times his jumps well to high point the ball. As a pro, London should be a real asset on third downs and in the red zone to bail out his quarterback in tough situations.

    Perhaps London’s most special quality is his ability to pick up additional yards after the catch. Following the reception, London gets North-South and charges through the secondary like a man possessed. London will push through tacklers, and his ability to break tackles and pick up ground after contact are truly rare for a wide receiver. He uses his power to shove defenders away, his big body to go through them, and his excellent balance to maintain his feet. London is such a fighter; he never quits on a play and it often takes a group of defenders to get him to the ground. His spirit and grit are undeniable, and that zeal really gives his entire team momentum through the fight that he displays. Check the video below for some incredible highlight-reel runs by London.

    With his size to win jump balls and ability to catch the ball in traffic, London is a fabulous weapon in the red zone. He tracks the ball well while using late hands to make the reception. London’s height and length help him make contested catches and win 50-50 passes. As a pro, he is going to have to win on contested catches because he won’t be a receiver who generates separation. But he has shown the ability win 50-50 balls and outfight defensive backs, utlizing his thick frame and strength to get the better of them. London combines solid route-running with reliable hands. He is a chain mover who does the dirty work in the short to intermediate part of the field.

    London is a bit of a love/hate prospect depending on which scouts you talk to. The evaluators who aren’t high on London feel that his speed is average at best and he will struggle to get open enough in the NFL. The scouts who like London feel he is a cross between Keenan Allen and Mike Evans. They think he is a good route-runner who is surprisingly effective at uncovering for a big guy, and has good suddenness and feel. Even those sources, however, believe London will have issues separating from NFL corners, similar to Kenny Golladay. Pro-London sources say London is not as fast as Evans, but call him a more physical runner after the catch than Evans. They believe London needs to get stronger and build himself up into the 220-plus pound range to push around pro defensive backs and be more physical during his routes.

    Despite the season-ending broken ankle, some sources think London could still be a high first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Sources from multiple teams with top-10 picks are high on London, and he could rise high in the first round. If London slides out of the top 10, he should not fall out of the first round unless a lot of teams flunk him medically.

    Player Comparison: Mike Evans/Kenny Golladay. If London can run well and play a little faster than expected, he could be a Mike Evans-type receiver. If the speed concerns translate to him being incapable of separating, London could be similar to Golladay.


    2022 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie’s | Walt’s

    2022 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings

    2022 NFL Draft Scouting Reports

    2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 22

    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

    NFL Picks - Feb. 12