The Browns passed on the opportunity to pick receiver Julio Jones with the sixth overall selection in the draft, opting instead to slide down to No. 27 in exchange for an extra first-round pick, a second-round pick, and two fourth-round selections. With the second-round pick acquired from the Falcons, the Browns picked receiver Greg Little.
Though it remains to be seen whether and to what extent either Jones or Little will make an impact at the NFL level, the two players will be constantly compared (at least by us) for as long as Jones plays for the Falcons and Little plays for the Browns.
For Little, it may be too much to expect an immediate impact, given that he didn’t play in 2010 due to an NCAA suspension. “By not playing last year, it’s going to take some time for him to develop on that level,” North Carolina receivers coach Charlie Williams told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He’s going to have to learn on the run in terms of the speed of the game and game contact. He’ll have his bumps and bruises and struggles his first year, but he should be able to play right away. He’ll correct whatever he needs to, and once he learns, he’s going to be good.”
In time, though, who knows?
“If Greg had played his senior year, he would’ve had big numbers,” Williams said. “I don’t know where he would’ve stacked up with those two guys [Jones and A.J. Green], but I truly believe if Greg had played his senior year, he would’ve had a chance to be a first-rounder.”
Regardless of how it all shakes out, Little’s performance in Cleveland will be a big factor in the overall assessment of the trade that allowed the Falcons to get Jones.