NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Baker Mayfield, Saints


Falcons GM Terry Fontenot commented on the process of Atlanta drafting USC WR Drake London with the No. 8 pick.

“We always start with the makeup. We love the way the young man is wired,” Fontenot said, via Josh Kendall of The Athletic. “He’s a tough, smart, competitive football player. He fits our ethos. He fits the culture we want.”

Falcons HC Arthur Smith says that the team did “very extensive” work on scouting London while also trying to keep their interest in him a secret from other franchises. 

“He’s got everything you want in mental makeup,” Smith said of London. “We’re excited as hell that he’s part of the Falcons. We worked him out and felt very comfortable with the speed. Just watch the tape.”

London himself commented on all the different assets he will be bringing to the Falcons organization.

“I impose my will on defenders,” London said. “Outside the lines, I think you guys can tell I’m pretty laid back and kind of chill, but inside those white lines, something comes out of me. You have to have that in order to play football, especially at a high level. At the end of the day, you could say I’m ‘covered’ but that’s really not the case. Go watch the tape, I’ve definitely blown past a couple people. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says that although the Panthers engaged in trade talks with the Browns for QB Baker Mayfield on Day 2 of the draft, he doesn’t get the sense Carolina was that enthusiastic about the possibility.
  • He adds Mayfield was open to the Panthers but in more of an “anywhere but Cleveland” perspective. It would have taken the Browns being willing to eat most of Mayfield’s $18.9 million 2022 salary for the Panthers to pull the trigger on a deal, per Fowler. 
  • Fowler writes Carolina was much more intrigued about third-round QB Matt Corral, who they traded up to get. They also liked QB Sam Howell who lasted until the fifth round when he was taken by the Commanders. 
  • Corral underwhelmed in interviews with multiple teams, according to Fowler, but Carolina really liked his college tape. 
  • USA Today’s Josina Anderson writes her understanding is the door isn’t 100 percent closed on trading for Mayfield from the Panthers’ perspective but they also don’t feel pressed or rushed to do anything. 
  • Panthers WR Andre Roberts‘ one-year deal includes a $200,000 signing bonus and a $1.55 million base salary, $700,000 of which is guaranteed. (Over The Cap)


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler has heard the Packers and Saints also had Day 2 grades on Patriots second-round WR Tyquan Thornton, who was widely criticized as a reach. 

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