Drake London, a wide receiver out of Southern California, was selected by the Falcons with the eighth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. London had 160 receptions for 2,153 yards (13.5 avg.) and 15 touchdowns in 27 games (23 starts) for the Trojans over the course of three seasons (2019–21) at USC.
London recorded 88 receptions for 1,084 yards (12.3 average) and seven touchdowns in eight games in 2021 despite sitting out the final four contests of the regular season. He was recognized as the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in addition to receiving All-America and All-Conference accolades.
Throughout his collegiate career, London finished with at least 100 receiving yards in nine games, including five straight games in 2021. Since Marquise Lee in 2012, the 20-year-old was the first Trojan to record 100 receiving yards in five straight games.
London also made program history by becoming the first player to accumulate at least 15 receptions in several games despite Southern California’s legendary history of wide receivers. The 2020 basketball season saw the 6-foot-4, 219-pound receiver play for Southern California.
London joins Calvin Ridley (2018), Julio Jones (2011), Roddy White (2005), Michael Jenkins (2004), Mike Pritchard (1991), and Shawn Collins as the Falcons’ seventh first-round picks at wide receiver in team history (1989).
Arnold Ebiketie of Penn State was chosen by Atlanta with their first pick of Day 2 after trading the 43rd and 114th overall picks to the New York Giants for the 38th pick. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound edge rusher led the Nittany Lions in 2021 with 62 tackles, two forced fumbles, and one pass defense.
He also led the team with 18 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. As a senior, he was named to the second team All-America and the first team All-Big Ten.
Prior to his tenure at Penn State, Ebiketie played three seasons for the Owls at Temple, where in 24 games (six starts) he recorded 59 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, and three forced fumbles. He led the club in tackles for loss, sacks, and forced fumbles in 2020, earning him a spot on the second team of the All-AAC.
With his pick, Ebiketie made NFL Draft history as the first Cameroonian-born prospect ever. He also made history by becoming the first Nittany Lion drafted by the Falcons since defender Bryan Scott in 2003.
Troy Andersen of Montana State was taken by the Falcons with the 58th overall pick. Andersen played running back, linebacker, and quarterback for the Bobcats during his four seasons at Montana State (2017–19; 2021).
With 214 total tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, 15 passes defended, and three interceptions in 50 games, the 6-foot-3, 243-pound linebacker closed his career (40 starts).
In program history, he also has the second-most running touchdowns (33), sixth-most games with 100 yards on the ground (10), and ninth-most rushing yards (2,260).
In 15 games (15 starts), Andersen recorded 147 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, nine passes deflected, and two interceptions in 2021. He was selected to the first team of all-Americans and was named the 2021 FCS ADA Defensive Player of the Year.
Anderson, who split his time between running back and quarterback in 2019, was named to the first teams of both the All-America and the All-Big Sky conferences. He finished the season with 54 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, six passes defended, one interception, seven rushing touchdowns, and one touchdown pass.
The Dillon, Montana-native started off as a linebacker and running back, rushing for 515 yards on 90 attempts (5.7 average) and five touchdowns in 2017. He also added seven receptions for 45 yards and one touchdown, earning him the Big Sky Freshman of the Year award that year.
In his second season, he switched to the quarterback and set a school record with 21 rushing touchdowns. He was named first-team All-Big Sky and third-team All-America in 2018.