5 Commanders players in danger of entering draft bust status in 2024

These players have to improve in 2024.
Phidarian Mathis
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Emmanuel Forbes - Commanders CB

Emmanuel Forbes is an interesting case. The previous regime thought highly of the talented cornerback en route to taking him at No. 16 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. That was a grave error in judgment based on early impressions.

Forbes' rookie campaign was disastrous. The Washington Commanders did the defensive back no favors by putting him up against physically imposing No. 1 wide receiver options and he suffered accordingly. He was benched after a few weeks and didn't progress effectively enough when reinstalled into the lineup.

Many are questioning whether Forbes can become what Ron Rivera hoped when he placed so much faith in the former Mississippi State standout. Writing him off after one season in difficult circumstances is foolish. At the same time, the need to enhance performance levels in 2024 cannot be overstated.

Dan Quinn and Joe Whitt Jr. know how to develop defensive backs. They've got an accomplished record in this area during their prolific stint with the Dallas Cowboys. Whether the duo can have a similar impact on Forbes is the big question.

Quinn likes bigger cornerbacks to cope with press-man situations within his creative schematic concepts. Given Forbes' lack of size and the fact he was bullied so much last season, the jury is out regarding his role under this exciting new regime.

The Commanders are looking for ways to get Forbes involved. He's taken special teams duties as a kick returner over early workouts. This adds another string to his bow and could result in confidence-building plays thanks to the new NFL rules that seem to favor the return team.

Forbes needs to earn his money in coverage. Washington has serious questions to answer on the outside of their secondary. If the second-year pro cannot emerge into a productive force and limit mistakes, it'll be a long road back.