What will Emmanuel Forbes bring to the Washington Commanders after the cornerback became their No. 16 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft?
After weeks of rumors, speculation, and fierce debate, the Washington Commanders finally provided clarification about what they were going to do early in the 2023 NFL Draft.
This was a thorough assessment process once again for head coach Ron Rivera and his staff, who have the added pressure of impressing pending new owners. Roger Goodell confirmed that a formal announcement could be made as early as next month regarding the $6.05 billion agreement between Dan Snyder and the group led by Josh Harris, which was welcome news to everyone associated with the franchise.
While some needs were more evident than others, Rivera didn’t take anything off the table. This was also expected to be the most unpredictable first round in recent memory, which proved to be drama-laden and full of eye-catching choices.
Commanders draft Emmanuel Forbes at No. 16 overall
As for the Commanders, they turned their attention to Emmanuel Forbes at No. 16 overall. Something that caused a little surprise based on the options available at the time, but that does not detract from what an outstanding talent he is.
The surprise came with Christian Gonzalez sitting on the board, who was projected as a top 10 pick by most analysts and went one spot later to the New England Patriots. Forbes generated some significant momentum where the Commanders are concerned over the last 24 hours, which proved accurate en route to hopefully becoming the shutdown cornerback Washington has craved for some time.
Forbes is a little undersized in terms of build, but he’s the best ballhawk in this class. The Mississippi State product turns chances into turnovers frequently and has the elusiveness to take it to the house at any given moment.
To say Forbes is explosive would be understating things slightly. He’s fast, agile, and has the top-end speed to go downfield with any wide receiver, which was further reflected by an outstanding spell of testing at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The defensive back is reactionary, using his instincts to full effect, and has the athleticism to make things extremely difficult in contested catch situations. Forbes does need to bulk up slightly upon getting to the pros, especially if the Commanders want to make him more impactful against the run.
Forbes also has a swagger to his game that’s hard not to love. The mentality matches the production, which obviously enticed the Commanders enough to take the plunge and fill a huge need along the way.
This was a brave move by the Commanders with Gonzalez and Nolan Smith on the board. But thankfully, they avoided the temptation to take a quarterback such as Will Levis and Hendon Hooker, who were both available at the time.
Adding Forbes to a cornerback room that also consists of Kendall Fuller, Cameron Dantzler Sr., and Benjamin St-Juste gives defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio a potentially productive foursome. Something that will be needed to stand any chance of mounting an NFC East title bid.
Is it the right pick? Only time will tell, but hopes are extremely high for a prospect with immense promise.