4 moves that would bring Commanders back to respectability in 2024

The road to redemption starts now...
Adam Peters
Adam Peters / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders must develop Emmanuel Forbes

Emmanuel Forbes was the darling of Ron Rivera's final draft process as Washington Commanders head coach. It seemed from a long way out as if the cornerback would be chosen at No. 16 overall. Even when projected top 10 pick Christian Gonzalez fell into their laps, it didn't alter the intended course.

Forbes was a ballhawk at Mississippi State, which is something the Commanders lacked in their cornerback room under Rivera's watch. While he was a little undersized compared to most shutdown corners, his explosiveness and athleticism were intriguing traits worth gambling on.

Things couldn't have gone much worse for Forbes as a rookie. He wasn't capable of guarding No. 1 wideouts and was carved open by most physically imposing pass-catchers. The first-round pick was eventually benched and even when he did return to the lineup, there weren't anything more than fleeting moments of promise.

The jury is still out on Forbes, but it's far too early to be giving up on the player just yet. He'll also have the benefit of a more accomplished coaching staff during a critical preparation period before his NFL sophomore campaign.

If defensive coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. and his team can start getting more from Forbes, it'll be like having a new signing. More will be needed in the secondary - especially if Kamren Curl and Kendall Fuller depart in free agency - but getting consistent performances from their primary college target this time last year is a core component to any success that comes Washington's way in 2024.