The Vikings have added another training camp receiver to their roster by signing former Southern Illinois WR Brent Little. He joins former Saluki teammates, running back Arkee Whitlock and tight end Braden Jones, with the Vikings. Whitlock spent the entire season on the practice squad; Jones was on injured reserve with a thigh injury.
Little (6-0, 191, 4.45-4.52) was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Cleveland Browns in 2006 but was released during training camp.
As a street free agent, he participated at SIU’s Pro Day prior to the 2007 NFL Draft, where he posted some very good workout numbers. Little was measured at 5-foot-11 3/4 and 191 pounds. He was clocked between 4.47 and 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash. His vertical jump was 37 1/2 inches. His broad jump was 10-foot-3 inches. He was timed at 4.08 seconds in the short shuttle and 6.78 seconds in the three-cone drill. Little did 11 reps in the bench press.
He signed a two-year free-agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs and went to camp with them last summer, where he participated in the intrasquad scrimmages with the Vikings during training camp.
Released on the final roster cutdown, he was signed to the Chiefs practice squad until being released in early November. Little was among the players the Vikings would periodically have in for workouts and had a tryout in Minnesota on Nov. 6.
Little played in 49 games and was a three-year starter in college, where he caught 124 passes for 2,303 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also averaged 21.5 yards on kickoff returns.
A Sports Illustrated scouting report said this about Little:
Positives: Solid small-school receiver with average NFL potential. Comes back to the ball out of breaks and offers the quarterback a nice target. Runs well laterally, making the reception in stride and uses his body to shield away opponents.
Negatives: Not quick releasing off the line, lacks a second gear and home run-hitting speed. Good size, yet seems to have difficulties in battles.
Analysis: Reliable throughout college, Little has yet to take his game to another level. Must show skill returning kicks this summer to make a roster.
Little will be a longshot to make it with the Vikings, but he certainly has NFL-caliber measurables and should not be a wide-eyed rookie, having been in two other pro training camps and also having a couple former college teammates in the mix.