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Ricky Manning, jr.

DB | (0-0, 185) | UCLA
By Pro Football Weekly

Notes: High school football and baseball standout. Drafted in the 22nd round of the June 1999 baseball draft by the Twins and plays in their farm system. Left-handed hitting outfielder and leadoff-type hitter who has yet to light it up. Hit .275 in 26 games in the Gulf Coast League in 2000 and hit .253 after advancing to the Appalachian League in '01. Was playing Class A baseball in '02, which is an indication that he's not on the fast track to the major leagues. In football, Manning started the last nine games in '99 and every game in '00, '01 and '02. Also returned punts. He had 53 tackles, two interceptions and returned 10 punts for 102 yards in '99; had 65-4 and returned 18 punts for 120 yards in '00; and 36-3 with three passes broken up and 16 punts returned for 53 yards in '01. Turned himself in on an assault charge stemming from a fight in April '02, where he claimed he was just defending himself. Started all 12 games in '02 with 38 tackles, six passes broken up, four interceptions. Added two kick returns for 29 yards. Named All-Pac-10.

Positives: Great athletic ability, quickness, agility, balance and hands. Can return punts. Has soft, large 10-inch hands and catches very well. Smooth backpedal and turn with quick feet. Durable. Can wrap up and tackle. Super-competitive, tough and aggressive. Can cover man-to-man. Fluid changing directions. Can plant and drive. Plays bigger than size. Built well. Tough, quick and explosive.

Negatives: Not aggressive tackling. Average punt returner who is not a make-you-miss, big-play returner. Lacks size and big receivers can overpower him. Plays to speed. Average football intelligence. Gets lost in coverage at times. Has option to play baseball. Does not ward off blockers. Bites on first move. Lacks strength in press coverage. Gets outsized, run by and beaten. Is not very physical against the run or pass. Lacks top pure speed and explosive deep burst. Gets faked out too much and loses too many jump balls.

Summary: Very fast and athletic, but lack of size and strength may limit him to a nickel role.

* Player biographies are provided by Pro Football Weekly.