Welcome to The 3-4, a website dedicated to NFL analysis, predictions and recent events. We wrote 32 extensive team previews and will be writing about all things football throughout the year. We will be scouting players off game tape, evaluating them, predicting NFL and NCAA games, and much more! If you would like us to write about something in particular, let us know!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sleeper Special Edition: Highlighting Greg Little

Greg Little, WR, UNC, 6'3 220 lbs*
*estimated height and weight: Official UNC player profile

Over the past college football season, I have spent ALL day on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as studying prime time games throughout the week, in preparation for the NFL Draft; evaluating and scouting NFL talent.

However in my "scouting", my resources for game tape was DirectTV tivo recordings that I cut around with the remote, and other game tape that is showcased on Youtube™. All the while attending a major collegiate university full-time.

Needless to say, I believe I have not been thorough enough in my evaluations, and will learn from the past season's experience, and improve on my mistakes.

Now to the bit; sleeper special? Everyone talks about, "their" sleepers, so what? Well first off I want to clarify the reason for my new edition.

Every college draft, no matter what the talent pool may hold, has its booms and busts. More busts than booms. I am not trying to be cute or funny, but quite frankly it's so damn unpredictable how successful late round talents can be (i.e. Trent Green, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger- also note that 3 of those 4 VERY successful QB's played for St. Louis. I credit the player personnel department.), and how unsuccessful high round draft picks can be (i.e. Ryan Leaf, Cade McNown, Tim Couch, Ki-Jana Carter, Jamarcus Russell..etc).

I could write 500 scouting reports and it wouldn't matter because for one, I'm not doing the drafting or advising, and two, you guys (and girls) like to read interesting articles or something different than the rest. I do want to say that we as The3-4 will continue scouting reports, and that was just a point for my reasoning in creating this type of article.

In essence, my goal is to highlight the lesser hyped ESPN™and NFLNetwork™prospects, and promote a deeper prospect pool for the general fan bases to think about on draft day. Everyone who watches the draft is between one and/or all of these descriptions; A) Is a football nerd. B) Has a friend/former alum/SOMEONE SOMEHOW CONNECTED WITH YOU ...facebook does count for some weirdos. C) a College/NFL fan wanting to see how your team "does" in the draft, or how many players come from your school...Which in reality is impossible to predict (success/failure of draft) during the immediate hours following the draft. or D) Are actually affiliated with the NFL, NCAAF, or Athlete management (I.E. agent(s)).

With that being said, an hour ago to this day I would not have thought I would be writing this article, but reading over additional materials on smwwearena.com I stumbled across Structure Organization of player personnel departments and most notably Positional Breakdowns for an unspecified NFL team.

In reading over the positional breakdown of wide receivers in particular, a few phrases stood out to me:
"Former running backs that are converted are best when they have the ball in their hands.  Even former HS running backs have those traits.  We want players that are good with the ball in their hands"
"In High School what position did he play?...Can he add to the return game?"
and finally; "Does he score touchdowns?  Big time players make big time plays.  Need scores from the great ones."
First thing I thought of was Greg Little of UNC.

Now obviously, due to "Agent Gate" (scroll down to the paragraph following the Cam Newton 2010 description) Little and other UNC players were declared ineligible for play in the 2010 season. Early on I knocked the players "character" and "integrity", but have now drawn the conclusion that it is a two way avenue, and the agents are just as much if not more guilty than the college players. These kids were foolish in their judgement, but swindled altogether by the greedy and selfish agents.

The reason I thought of Little was that I had heard people mention his former days in HS and even at UNC playing the running back position. I never gave it much attention, but by reading the position breakdown (for what team I do not know), I realize the importance entirely.

Guys who can get out into space, make plays after the catch, secure the ball downfield and NOT FUMBLE THE GAME AWAY...

...those are the players I want on my football team. Multiple position ability in high school and college means two things 1) he's the best athlete on the team and 2) he is unselfish and willing to put team goals ahead of personal goals.

On UNC's profile of Greg Little, it had this to say of his high school achievements:
"High School: SuperPrep All-America • USA Today All-America selection • Ranked the No. 2 player in the state of North Carolina and the No. 6 athlete in the country by SuperPrep • Member of Tom Lemming's All-America team • Has been hailed by most recruiting analysts as the most versatile player in the country• Excelled at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, linebacker, safety and cornerback while helping Hillside to a 10-3 finish • As a senior, had 55 catches for 969 yards and nine touchdowns as a receiver, 800 yards on 140 carries and 14 touchdowns as a running back and four interceptions on defense • Returned one interception for a touchdown • Named the Gatorade Player of the Year in North Carolina • All-conference selection • Coached by Ray Harrison • Also competed in basketball and track and field • "

Woah! I was blown away after reading that on my "background check" on Greg Little. Not only was he the best athlete on his team and debatably in the state of North Carolina, but Little was "...hailed by most recruiting analysts as the most versatile player in the country."

Stat busters, talent risers, and freakish athletes pop up all the time, yet are they always successful? To be for certain, an evaluator has got to take into consideration his production and specifically versus comparable talent. Do they dominate lesser competition? I mean without a doubt. Little things like that go a long way in whether or not a kid's talent translates to the NFL level.

Here are Greg Little's statistics according to ESPN.com

Hakeem Nicks: One of UNC's all-time greats
I do like the fact that in his first full year as a WR, he hauled in the fourth most receptions all-time in UNC history with 62 catches (Hakeem Nicks leads all-time with 74 receptions). He also led UNC with over 1,100 all purpose yards- 85 yards amassed per game.

Now you may sit and look at this stat sheet as, "...well he's unproven and hasn't put up numbers like other draft prospects." Jerrel Jernigan without a doubt is a top notch draft prospect, I'm just choosing the best 4 year career to compare Little to.

If you get right to the matter, Greg Little was asked to do these certain things- run, catch, and make an impact on the offense- and he did those things very well. From an offensive standpoint, Little generated 1,774 yards on just 252 touches (rushing or receiving) during his 3 year career at UNC. That's over 7 yards every time he touched the football!

3 yards and a cloud of dust? I'll take 7 yards and a Lombardi Trophy!

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. I will be posting a Greg Little Scouting report in the coming months so don't worry.