Commanders rookie class finally makes expected impact
The only player from the Washington Commanders' 2023 NFL Draft class to make an appearance on defense has been the perpetually out-of-position first-rounder from Mississippi State, Emmanuel Forbes.
After being benched last time out, Forbes' role on defense going forward will be something to keep an eye on. Veteran slot man Danny Johnson could take on a larger snap share if the No. 16 overall selection regresses further.
No other player from this year's rookie class has played anything other than special teams so far. That will likely change against the Atlanta Falcons after safeties Darrick Forrest and Jeremy Reaves were both placed on injured/reserve earlier this week.
Second-round pick Quan Martin will make his debut on defense in Week 6. He will be needed in a big way after injuries to the two veterans in front of him.
If Martin and Forbes can both show flashes of what made them early draft picks, it will vastly help the overall confidence of this currently struggling Commanders secondary. The added pressure of needing a win versus Atlanta after a disappointing three-game slide should provide the urgency needed to perform better.
Though Johnson takes most of the snaps as the third corner, Forbes looks no less confident in a more limited role and registers two tackles and a pass defense.
Meanwhile, Martin makes multiple splash plays in his first action on defense. This leads to people questioning why Percy Butler was ever getting any substantial playing time over the obviously more talented rookie.