Greg Little is among this draft class’ most physically gifted receiver. Despite below average college production at the position, he appeared to be a player poised for a big breakout before a suspension took his Senior season away. It remains to be seen whether he will learn from his past mistakes and mature as a person. Regardless, Little has the talent to make an impact early at the next level, likely in the short to intermediate passing game. He has the ability to develop into an upper-echelon receiver in the NFL but so much depends on his decision making and his standing with his coaches.
As a converted tailback, Little is still a bit wet behind the ears as a route runner. Still, in times at receiver he has proven he is athletic enough to run a full route tree effectively. His physical abilities make him a tough customer when faced with man coverage. He is fluid enough to separate underneath and over the middle. His size allows him to successfully shield defenders with his body and he shows the ability to beat the jam with his functional strength. However, he does lack the top end speed to separate vertically.
Little may have some of the draft class’ best hands. When the ball is in the air, he shows very good concentration and coordination. His hands are average size relative to his height and length, but he is a very reliable catcher. On the field, he shows the confidence and physicality to win contested balls. He will not shy away from making plays in traffic, often displaying rare toughness for a receiver.
After the Catch
The attribute that stands out most in Greg Little’s game is his strength. He is very strong, physical, and uses a stiff-arm effectively. There may be no receiver in the draft this hard to bring to the ground, as he seems to run angry. Little fights for yards but also possesses enough speed to occasionally break off big gains. Despite extraordinary toughness and physicality, he also shows a bit of wiggle with the ball in his hands. He accelerates and changes speeds well for a bigger receiver. In the open field he even flashes a spin move.
Entering the NFL Combine, there was some uncertainty over Little’s sheer athletic ability. His performances in Indianapolis and Chapel Hill were able to put a lot of doubts to rest. He is an impressive athlete for his size and fairly fluid. Body control is one of his greater assets as a player and he shows the ability to make plays away from his body. His leaping ability is remarkable for a player in excess of 220 pounds and his vertical is a very impressive 38” inches.
Greg Little is very big and extremely strong for a receiver. As a former running back, he may not have a ton of experience as a run-blocker, but he shows plenty of ability. Often times, his blocking will reflect the grit and competitiveness he displays in his complete game. Expect him to receive plenty of attention from run-heavy teams.
The best fit for Little is as a flanker (or “Z”) in a west coast offensive scheme. He is likely to be utilized most in the short to intermediate passing game. In the NFL he profiles as more of a possession receiver with ability after the catch, rather than a game-breaking vertical option. He was an extremely versatile college football player and could be toyed around with provided he lands with a creative coaching staff. His Tarheels career started as a running back and he also did some kick returning.
Size, Speed, Strength & Agility
When it comes to physical tools, Little has them in abundance. He’s very big, thick, extremely strong, and his body is rocked up with muscle. His nickname is “freak.” In addition to strength, he is also fairly agile and fast for his size. He showed some big-time explosiveness at his Pro Day, where he recorded a broad jump of 10 feet 10 inches. Despite a bit of tightness in the hips, he still changes speed and directions at an above average level for his weight.
Outside of the top two, A.J. Green and Julio Jones, it is tough to find any receiver in this class with Little’s upside. His excellent physical tools and ability with the ball in his hands should make him a candidate to receive touches immediately, no matter where he is to fall. To reach his vast potential, there will need to be major changes in the way he approaches the game. Still, if I’m a betting man, it would be hard to go against a player with Greg Little’s sheer talent. He will make a tremendous flanker in a run-heavy offense provided he has coaches that can keep him in line.
Sketchy character offers a reason to believe Greg Little will fall down the board on draft day. He is obviously very competitive and confident, but maturity is a big concern. On the field, he too often lets emotions get the best of him. North Carolina suspended him for the duration of the 2010 season after it had come out that he had received $4,952 in improper benefits, which included jewelry and multiple travel accommodations. Additionally, some sources have reported that he may not have been completely honest with teams at the NFL Combine. Now, I actually find Little to be quite well spoken and articulate in interviews. If he can improve his work habits and attitude as a whole, the sky could be the limit. There are no durability concerns to speak of and he never missed a college game due to injury.
2009: 13 games, 13 starts – 62 rec 724 yds 11.7 avg 5 Td; 166 yds rushing 5.7 avg 1 Td
2008: 11 rec 146 yds 13.3 avg 0 td; 339 yds rushing 4.3 avg 3 Td
2007: 13 games, 2 starts (at RB) – 13 rec 99 yds 1 Td; 300 yds rushing 1 Td
Awards & Honors
Nothing of note.
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Prospect Video Clips
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