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Forbes Can be the Missing Piece for Del Rio's Defense | Washington Commanders

Updated: May 2, 2023

By Adam Aniba

During the first round of last night's NFL Draft, many hoped to see the Commanders select an offensive lineman or cornerback, which represents Washington's biggest needs heading into the offseason.

Some fans were disappointed with the selection of Emmanuel Forbes (Scouting Report) over Christian Gonzalez and Deonte Banks.

Emmanuel Forbes

6'1" 166 lbs | CB | MISS ST.

Round 1 #16 Overall

Career (35 games) 142 TAK (89 solo), 6.5 TFL, 1.0 SACKS, 1 FF, 14 INTs, 34 PD, 6 TDs & 1 BLK

2022 (11 games) 39 TAK (20 solo), 1.0 TFL, 6 INT, 15 PD & 1 BLK

The bottom line is Washington had the 13th overall pass defense in '22, but lacked interceptions and were ranked 26th in takeaways in '22 and 24th in '21.

Forbes instantly brings production, durability and the ability to create turnovers into points. The Bulldogs corner recordied 14 career interceptions and an SEC record 6 picks returned for touchdowns.

Those that question his size and matching up vs NFL receivers, should look no further than his SEC matchups over the last 3 years. He faced and had legit games vs LSU's Jamar Chase and Justin Jefferson, in addition to other NFL receivers with former Alabama pass catchers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.

Forbes ran a 4.35 second forty and measured in with 32 1/4" arms during the NFL Combine. His explosiveness and ability to play the ball jump out on his film. The former Bulldog corner is a student of the game and a self described game film junkie. Combining his physical attributes and work ethic, will aid him in a tough transition to the NFL.


  • '20 AP All-Bowl Team

  • '20 True Freshman All-American

  • '20 Freshman All-SEC Team

  • '20 All-SEC Second Team

  • '22 Second-Team All-American

  • '20 MSU single-season record for interception return yards in a season with 183 (5 INTs)

  • '20 AP All-Bowl Team

  • SEC Record 6 ints returned for touchdowns

Forbes has a ton of experience in a variety of zones sets, but also played some press-man with the Bulldogs 3-3-5 defensive scheme. He thrived facing quick-game throws and was always a threat to take a pick six to the house, but also blow up plays in the backfield.

Forbes only played 22 career snaps at the slot, so the outside is his best spot in Del Rio's defense. It is a bit of a concern that Benjamin St-Juste or Kendall Fuller are the two that would be the primary slot corners, but finding a way to put their best three corners on the field will be key.

As it stands, Forbes, BSJ & Fuller, along with Kam Curl and Darrick Forrest are a group that can be one of the better units in the league. Their new addition is certainly something to build on heading into Day 2-3 of the NFL Draft.

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