2011 NFL Free Agency: Five Strong Safeties the Philadelphia Eagles Should Pursue

Jason KarlAnalyst IIIFebruary 24, 2011

2011 NFL Free Agency: Five Strong Safeties the Philadelphia Eagles Should Pursue

0 of 5

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 02:  Quintin Mikell #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles applies pressure on a blitz against quarterback Matt Schaub #8 of the Houston Texans at Lincoln Financial Field on December 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    With the likelihood of Quintin Mikell not returning to the team in 2011, the front office of the Eagles would be smart to target veteran safeties.

    Though Kurt Coleman is a smart, young safety, he may not be ready to start.

    The Eagles could go the route of drafting another young safety or try to pick up one of these veteran safeties to pair up with the young Nate Allen.

    Here are five strong safeties the Eagles should pursue (strictly SS not free safeties):

Danieal Manning

1 of 5

    CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 28: Danieal Manning #38 of the Chicago Bears fields a kick against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on November 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Eagles 31-26. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The 5'11'' Danieal Manning is a solid safety of the Chicago Bears.

    He recorded 72 tackles and an interception last season, but was key in the Bears' strong run support.

    Though he was beat in pass coverage a few times last year, Manning was arguably the Bears' best safety.

    The 28 year-old Manning provides extra versatility, as he is very underrated in the kickoff game, averaging 24.7 yards per return. 

Bernard Pollard

2 of 5

    HOUSTON - DECEMBER 13:  Strong safety Bernard Pollard #31 of the Houston Texans runs back an inteception for 70 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter as Justin Griffith #33 and Julius Jones #22 of the Seattle Seahawks can't make the tackle at Relian
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The 26 year-old Pollard is arguably the best run-supporting strong safety in the league.

    Pollard recorded 111 tackles, 2.5 sacks and forced four fumbles.

    Though he was part of a much maligned pass defense, coming to a secondary with Asante Samuel in it, should help Pollard considerably. 

    Pollard stands at 6'1'', 225 pounds, so he is an intimidating presence.

Donte Whitner

3 of 5

    ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Rashard Mendenhall #34  of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs against Donte Whitner #20 of the Buffalo Bills  at Ralph Wilson Stadium at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 28, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    The 5'10'', 208 pound Whitner will never live up to his 8th overall selection in the 2006 draft. That being said, he is still a solid safety on a bad team.

    Whitner will leave the Bills after tweeting about possible replacements for him.

    Whitner in 2010 recorded 140 tackles, seven pass defensed and one interception. He is not much of a playmaker, but will not kill you in pass defense.

    Whitner is only 25 years old.

Dawan Landry

4 of 5

    KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 09:  Safety Dawan Landry #26 of the Baltimore Ravens runs back an interception of quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs in the third quarter of their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Dawan Landry is one of the most underrated safeties in the league. Most of the praise is given to Ed Reed, and deservedly so, but Landry is still great.

    Landry had 111 tackles and was strong in pass coverage.

    The Ravens have other free agents to worry about, so the 28 year-old Landry could come at a bargain price.

Eric Weddle

5 of 5

    SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 15:   Tight-End Brent Celek #87 of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled after the catch by Eric Weddle #32 of the San Diego Chargers during the NFL football game on November 15, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Cha
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Eric Weddle is also another underrated safety not many talk about. The 26 year-old Weddle recorded 96 tackles and two interceptions, to go along with 10 passes defensed.

    Weddle is playmaker in the Chargers secondary and is rangy for a strong safety.

    He can also support the run well and was one of the leaders on the Chargers defense.