Looks somewhat natural plucking the football away from his frame and knows how to go up and make the catch. Locates the football quickly, extends his arms well and acts like a power forward when asked to go up and make a play. Is still learning how to run routes at this stage. Is a better vertical route runner, knows how to sell the post or corner and turn up the field, as he possesses the type of body control/flexibility to sink his hips/shoulder and accelerate down the field.
However, has a tendency to begin to show/drift into his routes prematurely and lacks the necessary footwork and preciseness at this stage to cleanly get out of his breaks and accelerate away from defenders in man. Everything is very rounded at this stage and relies more so on his ability to create after the catch on short crossers underneath and go up and pluck the football vertically.
Impression: The skill set and talent is there for this guy to mature into a starting caliber wideout in the NFL. Wasn’t asked to beat much press and isn’t a real natural route runner at this stage, but his ability to create after the catch should allow him to come in and make an impact early in his NFL career as he learns the intricacies of the position."
Negatives: Still developing as a route-runner. Has the speed, balance and agility worthy of development, but rounds off his routes and is inconsistent with his spacing. Isn't the physical blocker that his size and athleticism would lead one to believe. Gets in the way and provides some effort as a blocker, but needs to take this part of his job more seriously, especially when blocking the cornerback near the line of scrimmage. Lets too many passes into his chest, resulting in some ugly drops."
Little has all of the attributes needed to succeed in the NFL.
The former running back has retained several of the attributes often put to use at his old position. Little is very strong with a love for contact, displaying his toughness and physicality with regularity. He uses his big, strong frame to go up for tough catches, frequently making difficult, acrobatic catches. While not a burner, Little has solid speed and exceptional play-making ability in the open field. Has very big, reliable hands. Solid blocker.
Little isn’t an elite route-runner. Speed is just slightly above average. Pretty raw and inexperienced. Has some character concerns. He’s booming with talent and potential, but could be hyped up a bit too much due to his size and athleticism. Does not have the experience or production you look for.
Little’s great combination of size, athleticism, and body control will move him up many team’s draft boards. He’ll live in the league on potential alone. He still has a lot of work to do, but that’s the same thing many experts were saying about fellow former Tarheel, Hakeem Nicks. He’s a mid-round prospect who will fit great as a number two option in a couple of years.
NFL Comparison: Hakeem Nicks "
Positive: Relatively athletic receiver who does the little things well on the field. Sells routes, comes back to the ball out of breaks, and plays with good quickness. Possesses good eye/hand coordination, effectively looks the ball in, and makes the reception in stride.
Negative: Lacks a burst and a second gear. Flashed brilliance as a junior yet was never able to improve his game. Marginal route runner.
Analysis: Little was highly thought of after his terrific 2009 season, but he enters the draft one year removed from football with numerous questions due to his suspension. He possesses the tools and pass catching skills necessary to be a number two receiver on the NFL level."
Negatives: Doesn't have great top end speed... A bit raw as a route runner and hasn't had a chance to prove to teams that he has improved in this area... Never really dominated at the collegiate level, only has 969 career receiving yards and six career receiving touchdowns... Major character concerns, was suspended for the entire 2010 season for NCAA rules violations and is known for having a bit of an attitude... Better in the short and intermediate passing game than when asked to go deep... Very raw, was recruited by Notre Dame as a linebacker, but North Carolina offered him the opportunity to play as an "athlete" and fluctuated between running back and receiver, far from a finished product."
Weaknesses: Questionable character, desire, work habits, etc. Will need to be fully and carefully evaluated in the interview room. Despite his high school accolades, he has never lived up to them in college, and has never really devoted himself to getting better the way the great ones do.
Projection: 3rd round talent with 7th round intangibles."
Little showed potential, but he was obviously not a polished wide receiver. Thus, how he performed during his senior campaign was going to go a long way regarding his draft status. Unfortunately for Little and his draft status, he was suspended for the 2010 campaign amid an investigation by the NCAA into whether players received benefits from agents.
Little will have a lot to prove at the combine both on and off the field. The recent success of receivers out of UNC in the NFL had Little poised to be a first or second round selection assuming he could polish his skills during his senior season, but without a senior season his stock will likely fall to at least the middle rounds…if he is lucky."
He lacks long speed, but he has the competitive speed to uncover and the strength to run through contact after the catch. He possesses NFL starter-caliber traits as a "Z" receiver and could garner attention in the first three rounds if he shows up in shape after the season and proves he is willing to do the little things to be great."
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