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When will WR prospect Drake London be able to play?

A fractured ankle cost USC wideout Drake London to miss the end of the 2021 season, but it shouldn’t keep him off the field for his rookie year.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Southern California Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Update — London was selected with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.

A towering 6-foot-4 wide receiver, Drake London stands out from the other top prospects at the position. Besides his size, London has considerable experience as both a boundary and slot receiver. While some question his ability to separate from defenders, his background as a basketball player becomes readily apparent when he goes up for contested balls. After two respectable seasons at USC, London broke out in 2021, hauling in 88 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in just eight games.

Injury details

During USC’s eighth game of the season, London fractured his right ankle, forcing him to miss the rest of the year. At the time of the injury, the true junior ranked among the frontrunners for the Biletnikoff Award, the top individual honor given to receivers. In addition to missing games, London did not run at the NFL Scouting Combine and only performed position drills at a personal pro day shortly before the draft.

Timetable for return

While London did not run the 40-yard dash or run any of the other traditional combine drills, the ankle injury shouldn’t keep him out of offseason work or training camp. Barring a new injury, he will have the green light from the medical staff to play in Week 1.

Will it impact draft slot?

London’s injury shouldn’t affect his draft stock as he could realistically become the first wideout taken. Should he fall further than expected, the lack of athletic testing will represent the main culprit, not the ankle injury itself.