Ravens Picked Smith Over Little

WR Torrey Smith was taken one pick ahead of Cleveland WR Greg Little in the second round.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith and Browns wideout Greg Little have long been connected.

They were part of the same high school recruiting class, so they saw one another “all the time” at college visits and camps.

They saw each other competing in the ACC, as Smith was with Maryland and Little with North Carolina. They hung out at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Then Smith and Little became draft mates.

Smith was taken by the Ravens with the 58th overall pick in the second round. Little was selected by the Browns 59th overall.

Now they’ll see each other again for the first time in the NFL on Sunday, both as major rookie contributors for their respective teams.

“That’s my boy,” Smith said. “We didn’t talk about [our draft position]. We were just trying to make an impact when we got there.”

Stepping in as a starter since Week 3, Smith has given the Ravens the vertical presence they have been long looking for.

He has 31 receptions for 613 yards and a team-high five touchdowns. He has 11 receptions of 20 or more yards and his 18.5 average yards per reception is third-best among receivers with at least 20 catches.

Little has started seven of 11 games this year and all but one since Week 4. He leads the Browns with 47 receptions for 495 yards. He has one touchdown.

So what were the Ravens thinking when they were on the clock and both players were on the board?

“We thought [Little] was a really good option for us in the second round,” said Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta. “But I think Torrey was the one guy we really coveted and we didn’t think there would be an opportunity to get him. We felt like we won the lottery when he fell to us.”

They’re two very different players. Smith is a 6-foot-1, 205-pound burner. Little is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound converted running back that projects to be more like Anquan Boldin.

“Looking at our situation with the personnel we already had here – Anquan Boldin, David Reed and some of the other young players – we just felt like Torrey gave us something we were lacking a little bit,” DeCosta said.

“It was a guy that could really blow the top off defenses, could challenge the Cover-2, things like that. … We really just liked the entire package.”

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