Barring any blockbuster free agent trade, the NY Jets will likely spring for a wide receiver in the first round. The million dollar question is: Which guy?
The Jets have reportedly shown interest in Ohio State’s Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson ahead of the 2022 draft, and Alabama’s Jameson Williams also stands out as a high-risk, high-reward pick.
Of all the first-round prospects, USC’s Drake London may be considered the safest bet, and if he lands in New York, he’s highly touted to break out as a fantasy football stud.
Yahoo Sports’ Liz Loza wrote about London’s potential as arguably the No. 1 wide receiver in this draft class despite injuring his ankle last October.
London’s NFL trademark will likely be winning contested catches given his sheer size and leaping ability. Prior to his ankle injury in 2021, London recorded 19 contested catches and 22 broken tackles in eight games, earning an impressive receiving grade of 91.8 from Pro Football Focus.
What makes him a great fit for the Jets, specifically?
“London would bring a much-needed perimeter presence to the squad, providing Wilson with a “go-up-and-get-it” weapon. While the second-year QB remains largely unproven, it seems likely that he and London would become fast friends in the red area and that the former Trojan could lead the team in TDs.”
– Liz Loza
The USC product has so far been compared to the likes of Mike Evans and Courtland Sutton, though he does get a knock for not being the most explosive wide receiver out there.
That’s not a huge concern to the Jets, who already have speed and agility embodied in 2021 second-rounder Elijah Moore.
More concerning is London’s injury history that prevented him from running at the Combine and delayed his Pro Day, but when healthy, London has proven he can make an immediate impact in the Jets’ wide receiving room.
His expected production will depend on a variety of factors, including how well tight ends Tyler Conklin and CJ Uzomah adapt to the Jets’ offensive scheme, yet Loza suggests taking the over on six touchdowns for London in his first year.
Of course, all this assumes New York will select London in the first round with pick No. 10.
His ankle injury does raise a small red flag, but we agree that London has incredible boom potential on the Jets and could be exactly what the wide receiver room needs in 2022.