Commanders rookie Emmanuel Forbes letting his football do the talking
By Dean Jones
As the debates rage on about whether Emmanuel Forbes was the right guy for the Washington Commanders, he's letting his football do the talking.
Much has been made about the Washington Commanders taking Emmanuel Forbes at No. 16 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. Some believe it was a masterstroke while others have already come to the conclusion it was the wrong call considering Christian Gonzalez was also there at the time.
The Commanders took a keen interest in Forbes throughout their evaluations and were convinced enough to make him a first-round selection. That hasn't stopped debates from raging, but the gifted cornerback has already begun letting his football do the talking.
Forbes was the top attraction at Washington's rookie minicamp. This brings its own set of pressure, but the defensive back flourished in the spotlight to further heighten confidence in his ability to hit the ground running.
Emmanuel Forbes makes strong first Commanders impression
The former Mississippi State star showcased his elite-level explosiveness, top-tier footwork, and exceptional instincts throughout practices. Forbes put on a coverage clinic according to those in attendance, which also came with the first of what will hopefully become many interceptions in a Commanders' uniform.
While this was just the first step in a long transition process this offseason, it couldn't have gone much better for Forbes. He made his intentions clear and demonstrated exactly why the Commanders brought him on board as a matter of urgency during the draft.
However, how he performs against the likes of Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Jahan Dotson will be a far greater measuring stick this offseason. All three are considered among the best at what they do, so Forbes is about to get a crash course on what to expect on a weekly basis in the pros.
Forbes has probably heard all the criticism labeled at Washington's pick. But weirdly, this had nothing to do with the player's talent when push came to shove.
Doubts arise from Forbes' frame and whether it can hold up throughout a grueling 17-game season. He was listed at a heavier weight than outlined at the NFL Scouting Combine, which could rise further before Week 1 rolls around.
If this doesn't become a complication, Forbes can quickly emerge as a ballhawk shutdown cornerback. Something the Commanders have been sorely lacking in recent years.
Washington deployed Forbes in the slot throughout their rookie minicamp. While that's not a guarantee he'll occupy this role when competitive games begin, it was refreshing to see the first-year pro man the position so effectively - something that only increases how the Commanders could utilize him right out of the gate.
Forbes isn't lacking confidence and brings a strong mentality to Washington's secondary. Having people talk down about your chances is all the extra motivation he needs to make a real go of this signifcant opportunity.
People will always talk. That's just the nature of the business.
But judging by Forbes' showing at the Commanders' rookie minicamp, his actions will speak far louder than words.