Is Danieal Manning the Sleeper of the 2011 Free Agency Class?

There aren’t usually steals in free agency. There are sometimes players who don’t get the major media attention and sometimes get underestimated by scouts and coaches.

Now, we know Dawan Landry is the key strong safety available in free agency, yet I get the feeling he would like to come back to Baltimore and keep benefiting from a living legend covering the other half of the field, Ed Reed.

After him, the safety pack is a murky but solid group including another Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski, Darren Sharper, Quentin Mikell, Atari Bigby, Roman Harper, and Eric Weddle.

Danieal Manning is a strong safety with amazing speed and Cover 2 ability that might end up having the most upside of all the safeties available. He only had 1 INT and 7 passes defensed but he was part of a pass defense that gave up just 14 TDs and caught 21 total interceptions. Detroit and Minnesota – 23 TD/14 INT and 25 TD/15 INT allowed respectively – could be interested.

He held quarterbacks to a rating of 59.7 when passing his way. He also only missed three tackles all season.

His value in special teams has weakened with the new rules but he did lead the NFL in kickoff return average in 2008 with 29.7 ypr.

He has to be one of the free agents pressing the NFLPA* to get a deal done so he can finally cash in after taking a modest 1-year deal from the Bears last season.

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