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2022 NFL Draft: Drake London Injury Overview (Fantasy Football)

2022 NFL Draft: Drake London Injury Overview (Fantasy Football)

The top WR in the draft according to many analysts, Drake London (WR) hasn’t seen the field since he fractured his ankle this October. During his recovery, he then strained his hamstring, which caused his Pro Day to be pushed back to mid-April. Sounds like this could be the start of a pattern, so are we worried that London is injury-prone?

Not at all.

Andrew Erickson Mock Draft

His ankle fracture occurred from a contact play while being tackled, which suggests an outlier. For predicting future injury, contact and non-contact plays have major differences in future outcomes. In elite football, bodies collide from all sorts of angles with tremendous force. It just so happened that this instance created a force too strong for a relatively small bone to handle.

Depending on the severity, recovery here usually takes NFL players four to six months to return. Skill position players like London see a short-term decrease in their explosive abilities most relevant to sprinting, jumping and cutting, but that effect lasts less than one calendar year. For London, we’d expect him to be at full strength around the start of the ’22 season. There’s no major re-injury risk here, so the overall outlook is pretty positive.

NFL Draft: How Will Drake London’s Ankle Injury Affect His Rookie Season?

The late-March hamstring strain is annoying, but not concerning as well. If anything, it actually eases our concerns about London, who ran an underwhelming 4.58 40-yard dash at his April Pro Day. If he were to run it again at the start of the season in September — with an extra five months to recover from the ankle surgery and with the hamstring way in his rear-view — it’s hard to imagine that he wouldn’t improve to at least the low 4.5 range.

London’s scouting profile highlights his physical nature as a receiver. His 6-4, 220-pound frame has drawn comparisons to the likes of Alshon Jeffrey (WR – FA) and Kenny Golladay (WR – NYG). Unfortunately, as you could probably guess (and have seen with both Jeffrey and Golladay), physical WRs do have elevated injury risks once they enter the league. Most likely, the explanation involves the frequency of contact they face. Speedsters, like the Tyreek Hills of the world, are more capable of dodging and weaving their way around traffic on the perimeter, especially with the modern NFL pass interference rules. London probably won’t have the straight-line speed for that luxury, but his build will allow him to absorb contact more easily. Nothing about his history is overly concerning, even though his play style is unfortunately slightly more prone to missed games for minor injuries. Overall, the increased risk is low, and you can feel good about expecting a full-strength contributor for your fantasy team by Week 1.

CTAs


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