4 pivotal matchups to watch during Commanders joint practices with Ravens

Things will be physical between the Commanders and Ravens in Baltimore.

Emmanuel Forbes
Emmanuel Forbes / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders CB Emmanuel Forbes vs. Zay Flowers

The Washington Commanders have big plans for first-round cornerback Emmanuel Forbes. After an exceptional integration, the ball-hawk from Mississippi State is already slated to start in Jack Del Rio's base defense during his rookie campaign.

A somewhat controversial selection this summer, Forbes' savvy and stickiness in pass coverage have quelled concerns about the pick after a standout camp in Ashburn.

Forbes also seemingly put questions about his slender frame to rest in the Commanders' opening exhibition against the Cleveland Browns. He made a ferocious tackle on a critical third and short from the goal line as part of an impressive stand for Washington.

The Commanders' new cornerback was drafted mainly for his ability to create turnovers. But the rookie has also excelled in coverage so far during the summer.

Washington looks to have found a potential lock-down corner. However, they will need Forbes to consistently perform at a high level with so many productive wide receivers currently in the NFL.

The rail-thin rookie will look to continue his impressive offseason this week against a terrifically talented Baltimore Ravens receiver room that features veterans Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman as well as electric first-round rookie Zay Flowers from Boston College.

Flowers has drawn comparisons to Miami Dolphins speedster Tyreek Hill for his ability to create separation and gash defenses with big plays downfield. The rookie wideout should immediately produce in a Lamar Jackson-led Ravens offense.

The Forbes-Flowers matchup will certainly be one to keep an eye on throughout joint practices over the next few days. Both first-round picks will surely battle it out in drills before facing off in preseason action.

Forbes and the rest of Washington's secondary will have their hands full trying to stay in front of Flowers this week. This experience should pay dividends for a squad looking for rapid improvement in their coverage unit.