By Jared Fields, Sports Editor
Along with some of the top prospects of the April 29 NFL Draft, former ACU all-American Danieal Manning worked out in front of scouts at the NFL Combine on Tuesday.
At the Combine, players are physically tested in areas such as the 40-yard dash, vertical and broad jump, cone drills and repetitions at 225 lbs. on the bench press.
Publicized as a small-school sleeper pick before the Combine, Manning said he’s getting plenty of attention.
“They really didn’t tell me about how I improved, just that I did well,” Manning said. “I’m getting a lot of recognition; a lot of teams met with me.”
However, Manning and his agent, Russell Hicks, said he didn’t meet goals set before the Combine. In the 40-yard dash Manning ran 4.46 seconds, a slow time in his group and behind the 4.3 second goal Hicks said they wanted to get.
“He had some personal goals that he wanted to meet, and he came up short,” Hicks said. “4.46 is fast for someone weighing 210 lbs., but he was hoping to run a 4.3.”
With Manning’s performance Tuesday, he will work out at ACU’s pro day scheduled for March 11 with former teammates Clayton Farrell, Robb Spells and Rashon Myles. With a better showing at the Combine, Manning likely would not have planned to run at the pro day.
“I feel like I did well on some things, but I’ll have a chance to improve on things at the pro day,” Manning said.
In his other tests, Manning did well. He jumped 39.5 inches in the vertical jump, broad jumped 10-feet 3-inches and made 17 reps on the bench press, three higher than the average for defensive backs.
Aside from working out with the defensive backs, Manning said he ran routes with receivers. Manning is still unsure of what position NFL teams will play him in the league. A safety at ACU, Manning might play cornerback, safety or have some ball-handling responsibilities.
“They had me do receiver drills; they wanted to see me run some routes. I’m going to return punts, too,” Manning said.
When it comes to the draft, he sees just as much uncertainty in when he’ll be picked as the position he’ll play.
“The NFL Advisory Committee had me at a fourth-round pick but other places have had me at the second round,” Manning said. “Anywhere on the first day would be safe.”
The NFL Draft is April 29-30 in New York City. The first four rounds take place on the first day of the draft, and the second day includes the final three rounds.
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