Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little is beginning to draw comparisons to a former receiver who had a history of dropping the ball in Cleveland—Braylon Edwards.
For a organization that has had Hall-of-Famer wide receivers such as Dante Lavelli and Paul Warfield, the Browns recent history with the likes of Quincy Morgan, Dennis Northcutt and the fore-mentioned Edwards makes you wonder if Little—and his drops—will add to Cleveland’s woes at the position.
Edwards, a former first-round draft pick out of Michigan and 2007 Pro Bowl selection, had a history of dropping passes during his four-year career in Cleveland.
In 2008, Edwards led the NFL in dropped passes with 16 during the Browns 4-12 season.
Little, a second-round pick out of North Carolina, currently leads all the Browns—and all NFL rookie receivers—in receptions with 47.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White leads all NFL wide receivers in drops with 11.
During the Browns 23-20 loss to the (7-4) Cincinnati Bengals, Little would drop four passes after being targeted 13 times.
Little would catch his first NFL touchdown pass—a three-yard reception from Colt McCoy—at the end of the first half and finish the game with five catches for 57 yards. Little leads the Browns with 87 targets—but with his current issues with drops—you have to wonder if Little the second coming of Edwards.
Like the 6’3 214-pound Edwards, Little is gifted—both athletically and physically—at 6’3 and 220 pounds—and like Edwards at Michigan—Little came into the 2011 NFL Draft with a reputation for being inconsistent and dropping balls.
Edwards had the luxury of a strong running game with running back Jamal Lewis, a strong offensive line and Pro Bowlers at tight end Kellen Winslow and quarterback Derek Anderson in 2008, Little has had a injury-depleted offensive line, a almost non-existent running game and the growing pains of learning a new offense under a rookie head coach in Pat Shurmur in 2011.
While Little did play only one full year as a wide receiver—after being converted from tailback—and missed 2010 due to receiving improper benefits at North Carolina, how and why is Little perceived as the Browns top receiver?
Cleveland’s wide receivers lead the league in drops with 30, despite the lockout and not having a full off-season to learn the West Coast offense, the lack of production—and drops—by both Little and the rest of the Browns wide receivers are the reason why Cleveland will have to upgrade the position in April.
Little may show tremendous upside and will have time to grow in the new West Coast offense in Cleveland, but if his drops do continue, then he will become more known as Braylon Little instead of Greg.
Follow me on Twitter, @Dawgfather_76