4 risky experiments the Commanders could cut short in 2024

The Commanders have taken some risks heading into the 2024 season.
Brandon McManus
Brandon McManus / Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports
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Emmanuel Forbes' reps

Another area where the Washington Commanders have questions to answer is the cornerback room. Giving up chunk plays became an ongoing frustration last season. While the lack of consistent pass-rush once Montez Sweat and Chase Young were traded didn't help, those occupying positions in coverage also need to be held accountable.

The Commanders lost Kendal Fuller to the Miami Dolphins in free agency and replaced him with Michael Davis. This could be a useful acquisition, but the new veteran arrival needs to raise his game after giving up eight touchdowns and a 119.2 passer rating when targeted in 2023.

Mike Sainristil should be a tremendous addition. The second-round pick looks set to start as the STAR cornerback on the inside. He's a little undersized at 5-foot-9, but his exceptional playmaking ability at Michigan looks like it's going to transition well to the pros.

Then, there's Emmanuel Forbes. The former Mississippi State standout was the apple of Ron Rivera's eye during last year's pre-draft process en route to becoming the No. 16 overall selection. What followed was a disastrous rookie campaign that left his future aspirations hanging in the balance.

Hopes are high that Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr. can get a better tune out of Forbes. They have proven credentials when it comes to successfully developing defensive backs. Anything less than significant strides under more accomplished staff is only going to raise skepticism further.

Forbes is dangerously undersized and might get outmatched physically once again. Davis and Benjamin St-Juste should take some heat off, but Quinn and Whitt must find a way to build his confidence back up gradually during a critical NFL sophomore campaign.

He's got some unique qualities. Forbes' instincts and ballhawk mentality were big reasons why the Commanders brought him into the fold. Harnessing this correctly was a complication the previous coaching staff couldn't solve. The onus is on Quinn and Whitt to alter this concerning trend.

If Forbes cannot improve under this exceptional guidance, the Commanders could demote him to the bench or special teams duties. This would be nothing short of catastrophic considering the player's pre-draft expectations.