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Drake London Lays Out What Separates Him From The Other Receivers In The 2022 NFL Draft

Drake London was in the midst of an all-time season at USC when he broke his ankle against Arizona on October 30, piling up 88 catches for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in just eight games for the Trojans. That performance was good enough to earn Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors despite missing four games, and he enters this week’s NFL Draft expected to hear his name called on Thursday night.

The 6’4, 219 pound receiver looks to follow in the footsteps of other big receivers that have taken over the NFL in recent years, citing Mike Evans and Keenan Allen among the players he watches film of to try and pull things into his game.

On Wednesday afternoon, London sat down with Uproxx Sports at the P&G Style Lounge on the Las Vegas Strip to talk about the upcoming Draft, his work with TJ Houshmandzadeh, and what he thinks separates him from the rest of a stellar wide receiver class.

It’s now just a night away. Where’s your excitement level for Draft night to finally be here?

I don’t know how to put it into words in a sense. Put it on the scale of one to 10, I think it’d be 11. I may not show it [laughs], but deep down inside? Yeah, definitely excited.

Excited to be done with pre-draft interviews and workouts?

I can’t wait. I was actually just talking about that. Just being able to settle down for once and just go about my business. I think that’s what I can’t wait for.

Being here with Head & Shoulders, how did you get partnered with this? And what’s it been like being with them for Draft week?

Yeah, you know, I’ve been using it for so long in my life. It’s been keeping my hair healthy, no dandruff. So I have a great ScalpShield Technology that they’ve been using and it’s been protecting my hair ever since. So yeah, I was happy they partnered with me.

What’s been the most surprising part of the Draft process? From when the season ended to now going through all the workouts and going through all the interviews, sitting with teams, what’s been the part that you maybe weren’t expecting?

I think it’s the depth that the teams go to know who you are truly. I’ve literally had, like, high school teachers telling me “Oh, such and such just talked to me about you,” and I’m like, there’s no way they go that deep, you know? That’s when I was kind of like shocked.

What are the things that you wanted teams to get to know about you not just as a player, but as a person when you got to sit down with them and talk to them?

What I wanted to be known and I think that was the boat that I was in, I couldn’t really participate in physical activity or anything at the time, so just showcasing that I’m a person who’s dependable. Somebody who you don’t really have to worry about, watch over, or just, you know, in the back of your head, like, “Oh, he’s gonna mess up and do something wrong.” That’s what I was trying to get through to a lot of teams and I think I did.

This is obviously a really talented wide receiver class. When you’re trying to kind of pitch yourself to these teams, what are the things that you think separates you from from others in this class?

When I’m covered, or so to speak covered, I don’t think I’m really covered. That goes to probably the basketball background that I had, just getting rebounds. I have to deal with guys who are 6’10 down in the trees, on the block. So I really have to use my height to my advantage at the end of the day, and if I have a 5’8, 5’11 corner, I don’t really see no issue with them being on my hip.

From when you got to USC to now, what is the area of growth that you think has been the biggest for you on the field?

I think honestly just becoming a football player solely and that in general. I’ve been playing basketball and football my whole life, so I haven’t really had the time to sit down and lift weights, stretch the way I’m supposed to, run the way I’m supposed to. So I think it’s just ultimately coming into one sport and just being a football player in general. And I’m still working towards that.

Is there an area on the field that teams say, like, this is what we want you to continue to work at when you get in these rooms and they talk about your strengths and your weaknesses?

I think it’s everything. And I can probably say that for a lot of the prospects. We’re going in there where the rookies were the youngins again, so I think there’s so many things that we get to learn at the end of the day. So I wouldn’t say it’s anything like specific. It’s just you’re gonna learn the tricks of trades of the NFL world, and especially being a receiver in the NFL.

Working out with TJ Houshmandzadeh and being able to be around the guy who’s been in those locker rooms and has been a pro for a long time and knows what it takes. What was that given you, mot just on the field, but knowing what it’s going to take to be a pro?

Oh, it’s something special. To have TJ in my corner is a huge, huge deal to me. I mean, literally a living legend. His smarts for the game, his physical attributes, the things that he teaches me things that he that he tells me and just what he brings to me as a person is beyond great.

And then beyond him, who are some of the guys that you look at and you watch kind of film of to try and pull things into your game?

Calvin Johnson, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, a guy like Davante Adams, the list goes on and on. I can pretty much take a lot of things from a person’s game and try to implement it into mine fairly quickly.