Underrated athletes: Drake London

Underrated athletes: Drake London

As the regular season comes to an end and the playoff brackets are finalizing, NFL athletes are giving their all to get their team through the finish line. After giving everything they had in the regular season, some players are injured or don’t have anything left to give. The ability to fight through the pain even when you are tired and want to give up is what differentiates an athlete from a superstar. There’s one guy who has consistently shown up and consistently improves week to week.

Drake London is a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons. While it’s not his first year, he’s still surprising fans every week with his incredible talent. This year alone, he’s amounted to a total of 745 yards in 56 receptions. While this number is impressive, I don’t think the stats show how great he really is.

The Atlanta Falcons aren’t the best team in the NFL. It’s a fact I and many other NFL fans have come to accept. They certainly aren’t bad, but they definitely have their fair share of issues. They have great roster depth with players such as Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts, Tyler Allgier, etc, but their coaching staff is known for being a little weak. Nothing personal against Arthur Smith. I do like the guy, and I admire his mustache, but his playcalling has raised a lot of questions among the NFL community.

They have incredible players, but many believe Smith hasn’t utilized them nearly enough as they need to. Whether or not he’s a good coach is up for debate, but I feel like if they made some changes in their strategy, Drake London could come out as one of the best Wide Receivers in the league. While it’s not all the coach’s fault, it has been a noticeable factor that diminishes London’s stats and plays down how good he truly is.

Another big factor to consider when looking at receiver stats is the quarterback. Any great receiver needs a good quarterback, and it’s presented in the NFL repeatedly. Cedee Lamb has Dak, Zay Flowers has Lamar, Deebo Samuel has Brock, Stefon Diggs has Josh, and you could even bring up tight end Travis Kelce has Patrick Mahomes. The point I’m making is that even the best receivers in the game need good passes to succeed, and in my personal opinion, that’s something London lacks.

Desmond Ridder is definitely not the worst quarterback to make it to the league, but he’s not in the same conversation with some of the greatest of all time. His ESPN QBR (quarterback ranking) is a 40.3. That puts him ranked 24th in the league, and considering there are 32 teams, that’s not great. And while I may not be a professional sports analyst, I’ve watched a lot of football, and it’s hard not to feel bad for London when I see some of Ridder’s decisions and throws. 

If you watch London closely, you will find he’s a lot better than any stat sheet can express. Whether it’s his incredible diving snags or his incredible route running, he truly is a freak of nature and deserves recognition for his talent. Whether the Falcons make changes to their program or if London finds a new team completely, I see him being one of the best receivers of our generation, and I hope he finds great success in the near future.

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