Dynasty Prospect Scouting Report: Drake London
Drake London, WR, USC
London did not work out at the Combine and won’t participate in USC’s Pro Day on March 23 as he continues to rehab the broken right ankle he suffered in October. He’s planning to hold a personal Pro Day on April 5.
London was a standout football and basketball player at Moorpark High School in California. As a senior, he posted a 62-1,089-12 receiving line and averaged 29.2 points and 11.9 rebounds per game.
He was tabbed a 4-star WR recruit by most scouting services and chose USC over 19 other offers. London planned to play both football and basketball for the Trojans but ended up seeing action in just 2 games on the hardwood in 2020 before focusing on football.
London appeared in all 13 games and made 9 starts as a true freshman in 2019. He ranked 4th on that team in catches, yards and TDs behind senior Michael Pittman, sophomore Amon-Ra St. Brown and junior Tyler Vaughns. London finished that season strongly, with a TD in each of his final 5 games.
His per-game numbers spiked in a COVID-shortened, 6-game 2020 season. London led USC – beating both St. Brown and Vaughns – in receiving yards. He trailed St. Brown and tied Vaughns in catches and TDs. London’s market shares: 18.5% of the receptions, 26.2% of the receiving yards and 17.6% of the receiving TDs.
With St. Brown and Vaughns out of the way, London emerged as USC’s alpha this past year. He posted video-game type numbers in 8 outings, averaging 11 catches, 135.5 yards and .9 TDs. He ranked 1st in the nation in catches per game and 2nd in receiving yards per game. London dipped below 9 catches just once and posted 130+ yards in 6 of 8 games. His market shares in those games: 40.2% of the receptions, 43.0% of the yards and 41.2% of the TDs.
It's worth noting that London played 90% of his snaps on the outside in 2021 after being in the slot for over 90% of his snaps in both of his first 2 seasons.
Unfortunately, London’s 2021 campaign ended when he broke his right ankle in the 2nd quarter of the October 30 game vs. Arizona.
Despite the injury-shortened season, London was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and a Third-Team All-American. He ranked 1st among draft-eligible WRs in Pro Football Focus’ receiving grades. And his 3.52 yards per route run was good for 5th among 200 WRs with 50+ targets.
Courtesy of FF Astronauts
Games watched - UCLA (2020), Stanford, Washington State, Oregon State, Notre Dame
London wins exactly how you’d expect a 6’4 former basketball player to win. His tape is chock full of contested catches.
He shows strong hands to make grabs in tight coverage.
And he’s adept at the back-shoulder ball.
London doesn’t create big separation on short and intermediate routes. But there’s enough nuance to his routes – combined with his big frame – to get the job done more often than not.
He’s particularly effective on outs and comebacks, snapping off his routes in front of CBs that are respecting his deep-ball ability.
London isn’t elite after the catch (Treylon Burks beats him in that department), but he certainly flashes tackle-breaking ability with that big frame and some surprising elusiveness.
I saw shades of Mike Evans, Tee Higgins and Vincent Jackson watching London. He’s a big, lengthy receiver with excellent ball skills.
We’re still waiting to get testing numbers from London, but he doesn’t look particularly quick or fast on tape. That means he’ll need to make his living on contested catches at the next level.
That’s a little scary – but I believe in London’s ability in that department. Expect him to be a high yards-per-catch and TD-rate guy as a pro. And that’s a good formula for fantasy production.
One final note: London is very young, turning 21 in July. That might mean that he has more untapped upside than your average rookie WR.