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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
If Little, who sat out the 2010 season after being ruled ineligible for accepting benefits from an agent, can quickly pick up the offense, he could be a key contributor in his first NFL season.
Here is personnel analyst Nolan Nawrocki's scouting report on Little from PFW's 2011 Draft Preview book:
Notes: Versatile athlete who garnered USA Today All-America and Gatorade Player of the Year honors as a North Carolina prep. Also ran track and played basketball before choosing the Tar Heels over offers from Florida, USC, Notre Dame and Ohio State, among others. As a true freshman receiver in 2007, recorded 13 receptions for 99 yards (7.6-yard average) and a touchdown with 59 carries for 300 yards (5.1) and two touchdowns. Also returned 11 kickoffs for 145 yards (13.2). Started the final two games of the season at tailback. Moonlighted with the Tar Heels basketball team as a freshman, seeing limited action in 10 games. In '08, started 7-of-13 games at tailback and totaled 78-339-3 (4.3) on the ground with 11-146-0 (13.3) receiving and 5-141 (28.2) on kickoff returns. Moved to receiver in Week Eight following an injury to Brandon Tate. A full-time receiver in '09, started all 13 games and posted 62-724-5 (11.7) with 29-166-1 (5.7) rushing and 11-222 (20.2) on kickoff returns. Did not play in '10 - was ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA for accepting improper gifts from an agent.
Positives: Looks very much the part with an NFL musculature. Excellent size. Very good athletic ability and playmaking skills. Tracks the ball over his shoulder. Good body control. Highly competitive in a crowd. Can elevate and has strong hands to pluck outside his frame (see Pittsburgh '09). Carries a swagger. Good run instincts - surprisingly agile and powerful after the catch. Physical blocker who gives effort to stalk and will deliver some crackback shots. Intense. Put on a show at the Combine - pumped 27 reps of 225 times, posted a 40½-inch vertical leap and broad-jumped 10 feet, 9 inches, while catching the ball very effortlessly in the gauntlet drill.
Negatives: Does not have elite top-end speed - will struggle to separate vertically from fast corners. Tight in the hips. Average stop-and-go quickness. Is relatively inexperienced as a full-time receiver and will have to refine his route running. Egotistical, immature and high-maintenance. Character needs to be investigated.
Summary: A strong, physical, superconfident, rough-around-the-edges West Coast receiver with a prima donna attitude and a fiery, aggressive playing temperament that borders on overemotional. Looks the part, stands out on tape and has traits few receivers have, including strong hands, ball skills and run-after-catch ability. Would be best-served entering a locker room with a strong veteran presence in which he'll be held accountable and taught what it means to be a pro. Has clear starter potential and could be great if he proves he can handle success.
NFL projection: Second- to third-round pick.