Emmanuel Forbes - Commanders CB
The Washington Commanders were in the market for a potential shutdown cornerback throughout the offseason. There wasn't much financial wiggle room thanks to the ownership flux, which left Ron Rivera with no option other than to explore options from the college ranks to solve the issue.
Rivera and other influential figures became almost infatuated with Emmanuel Forbes throughout their evaluations. The former Mississippi State ballhawk was the explosive turnover machine the Commanders had lacked for years. When he was available at No. 16 overall, they didn't hesitate despite Christian Gonzalez still being on the board.
While there was a sense of excitement surrounding Forbes' arrival, he was severely mismanaged as a rookie. Despite his preference to be a man-cover cornerback, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio implemented him in primarily zone packages. As expected, this didn't play to his strengths.
Not only this, but the Commanders also seemed intent on matching Forbes up against genuine No. 1 wide receivers despite his lack of experience and having Benjamin St-Juste and Kendall Fuller to call upon. The rookie's slender frame was no match for A.J. Brown. He was beaten frequently by D.J. Moore. After a series of poor performances where he looked outmatched, Rivera benched the first-round selection.
Even when Forbes was reinstalled into the lineup, it didn't bring much growth. There was the odd flash of promise, but no more than that. Hopefully, the new coaching regime can begin building up his confidence enough to make a bigger impression next time around.