INDIANAPOLIS — One of the best prospects in this year’s NFL draft said Wednesday he models his game after one former Detroit Lions wide receiver and considers another current Lions pass catcher “a big brother.”
USC’s Drake London said he has tried to emulate Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson in his rise to stardom and soon will be trying to one-up his ex-roommate Amon-Ra St. Brown on the field.
London and St. Brown played two seasons together with the Trojans. St. Brown led the Lions with 90 catches for 912 yards as a rookie, while London is expected to be one of the first receivers taken in this year’s draft.
“Definitely a big brother right there,” London said at the NFL combine. “I was blessed enough to get in a room with him when I was younger and be there with him for two years. So he’s definitely been in my ear, helping me through this process. I watched a lot of his games. For him to come up on the scene at the end was definitely something that he had to prove himself, and I’m happy he did.”
St. Brown got off to a slow start as a rookie, then closed in dominant fashion, catching at least eight passes in each of the Lions’ final six games and total 560 yards and six touchdowns in that stretch.
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London said seeing St. Brown excel as a rookie gave him “an amazing confidence boost” for what he can do in the NFL.
“At the end of the day, if you look down the line of all the SC receivers, I mean, you can say that they produce pretty well,” London said. “So that’s why I think that I picked that school, to get where I am right now.”
A 6-foot-5, 210-pound receiver who counts Johnson and Mike Evans as two of his favorite players, London had 88 catches for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns this season before suffering a broken ankle in an October win over Arizona.
He said he resumed running about a week ago, but hopes to work out as USC’s pro day later this spring.
“Give me like 15 more percent and I’ll be 100,” he said.
London called it “high praise” to be compared to Mike Williams as a receiver, both the Los Angeles Chargers version and the ex-Lions draft pick who played at USC before flaming out under Matt Millen.
And he said it would be cool to reunite with St. Brown on the same offense again.
“A blessing for sure to have something like that,” London said. “(He can) help me out with the locker room atmosphere and all that, but at the end of the day I’m just trying to get picked.”