3 Commanders players facing an uphill battle at 2024 training camp

These Commanders players have soome hard work ahead.
John Ridgeway III
John Ridgeway III / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Emmanuel Forbes - Commanders CB

Emmanuel Forbes is going to get more leeway than most given his first-round status. But after an underwhelming first season from the cornerback, imposing his will is paramount entering a critical Year 2 of his professional environment.

The Washington Commanders' previous regime thought highly of Forbes. He was their primary target from a long way out at No. 16 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. They were convinced his ball-hawking capabilities in college could easily transition to the pros despite his lack of size.

On first impressions, they were wrong. Forbes was bullied almost constantly and exposed as a weak link. This left many fans wondering if he'd end up becoming the latest in a long line of draft busts that became synonymous with Ron Rivera's time at the helm.

Forbes has a lot of hard work ahead, but giving up on him this early is not an option. Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr. have a prolific reputation when it comes to nurturing defensive backs and helping them exceed expectations. If they have the same effect on the former Mississippi State star, all hope is not lost.

There is one big problem. Quinn and Whitt's system depends on cornerbacks being physical and thriving in press coverage on the outside. This was an area Forbes struggled significantly last season. Gaining trust and adding some muscle mass is crucial in the pursuit of carving out a role for himself.

The stakes couldn't be higher for Forbes. Mike Sainristil and Michael Davis look set for starting roles. Noah Igbinoghene and James Pierre offer rotational help and special teams assistance. The pressure is on to remind people why the Commanders valued him, to begin with.

Anything less comes with huge ramifications attached. Something that could see Forbes used sparingly under a regime that has no sentimental attachment to their roster construction.