Grading every Commanders pick from the 2023 NFL Draft
By Dean Jones
Commanders drafted Emmanuel Forbes
- Cornerback | Mississippi State Bulldogs
While the Washington Commanders picking Emmanuel Forbes at No. 16 overall was seen as a reach by many, that was not an opinion shared by the primary decision-makers. Ron Rivera and his staff had their eye on the cornerback as a primary target and when they got the chance, it was an easy call for those in positions of power.
Forbes was college football’s biggest ballhawk in 2022 and held the record for most pick-sixes. He is an electrifying player who thrives in coverage thanks to elite-level reactions and speed that allows him to cover all over the field with ease.
There are some potential concerns about Forbes’ build. He’s one of the lightest-ever prospects taken in the first round, which could become a liability against the run unless some muscle mass is added throughout the preparation period.
With that being said, Forbes is a difference maker. A player capable of creating turnovers and taking them for scores at any given moment – precisely what the Commanders were looking for within their cornerback room.
Draft Grade: A
I’ve been extremely high on Forbes during the evaluation process. He’s got that X-factor needed to become a shutdown cornerback at the next level, so it’s not hard to see Rivera and the Commanders were so high on his exceptional athletic attributes.
However, Forbes will always be tied to Christian Gonzalez, who fell out of the top 10 and eventually went to the New England Patriots at No. 17.