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Film room scouting report on Ole Miss OT Greg Little

Should the Panthers go after an offensive tackle in the first round, and should that tackle be Greg Little?

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Little played for powerhouse program Allen High in Allen, Texas. As a recruit, Little was highly regarded. He was rated as a five-star prospect and the No. 1 offensive tackle according to all the major recruiting services. With Laremy Tunsil off to the NFL, Little stepped into a starting role immediately. He played in every game as a freshman and started five at left tackle. Little was named to the All-SEC team during his final year in Oxford, Miss.

Little’s athletic testing was below average at the Combine. He posted a -0.5 sigma, which is in the 30.1st percentile according to SPARQ.

Film review

Little has the potential to be an elite pass protector once he enters the NFL. He has the ideal size and length to be a mainstay on the left side. The high level traits Little possesses are the grip strength to control defensive ends, the knee bend to anchor, and the intelligence to pick up on blitzes or stunts.

Little keeps a wide base, but it’s what he does upon contact that is impressive. He drops his hips, but he’s also able to place his hands in an advantageous spot to prevent the edge rusher from gaining any ground.

Little is able to control the edge rusher on this rep with his outstanding grip strength. This is where his length benefits him. He locks out his hands at the snap, which allows him to place his hands on the chest plate.

Little doesn’t allow contact to phase him. He has a smooth kick slide, keeps his feet underneath his frame, but then drops his hips to establish leverage. Defenders did not have much success beating Little with power all season.

The edge defender is able to establish his inside hand on Little’s chest, but ultimately it goes nowhere. Little keeps a wide base to again establish his low pad level. With the outside hand on the edge rusher’s chest, Little prevents any further penetration by combating the long arm with his opposite hand.

Little has an effective kick slide. He stays low in his stance, but due to his wide frame he gains plenty of depth on the arc to prevent any pressures.

Little doesn’t wait to react to the edge rusher thanks to his length. The edge rusher looks as if he’s going to be executing a speed rush, but Little initiates the contact to establish his control.

Little, again, faces a long arm rush by the edge rusher. As he snaps into his kick slide, he shows how advanced his hand usage is to keep one hand high and the other low.

While Little’s length is an asset, his hand placement is still inconsistent. He doesn’t land his punch within the chest of the edge rusher, which prevents Little from using his grip strength to control.

Former Bengals and Cowboys offensive line coach Paul Alexander mentioned in his scouting report that Little moved his post foot too soon, which gave the edge rusher an advantage. Alexander goes on to mention that this is a correctable area as he transitions to the pros.

Little is an inconsistent run blocker. He doesn’t show the same functional strength or explosive burst to drive off the snap. His pad level on this snap isn’t optimal, which causes him to lose his base.

Ole Miss ran a version of the air raid last season, so it’s not surprising Little isn’t a refined run blocker. Little’s EPA when Ole Miss ran to his gap was -3.5, which is less than ideal.

However, as I said in my scouting report on Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard, run blocking isn’t a prerequisite in the modern NFL or for the Panthers. Christian McCaffrey created plenty of yards on his own and Norv Turner did an admirable job of scheming up run concepts despite the issues at left tackle in 2018.

Fit with Carolina

Little is an outstanding pass protector. According to Sports Info Solutions, he only allowed four blown blocks in pass protection in 2018. The left tackle situation has been a massive black hole for Carolina since Jordan Gross retired in 2014. The Panthers re-signed Daryl Williams who has made his career on the right side. Taylor Moton hasn’t played left tackle in his entire football career outside of Week 1 in 2018. The Panthers need a natural left tackle and Little is exactly that. I don’t know how the Panthers will shuffle the positions between Moton and Williams, but Little can step in on Day 1 and improve the entire unit as a pass protector. He should be in consideration as early as their first round pick.