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Forbes Has the Ability to Be a Ball Hawk in the NFL | Washington Commanders

Updated: Apr 28, 2023


By Adam Aniba


This year's draft class features a deep group at cornerback. Topshelf corners should boast size, range, experience, production and athleticism.


Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes has been held out of the 1st round discussion, but his ceiling is high. This is primarily based on his slender build/frame, but the Bulldogs CB has all the makings of a ball hawk on the next level.


Forbes led the SEC in interceptions last season and ran a 4.35 second forty during the NFL Combine. Although Forbes might not get selected in the 1st round, he's the most intriguing cornerback in the entire class.


Emmanuel Forbes

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

Late 1st-2nd Rd Grade

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


Background

Forbes grew up in Grenada, MS and was a star defensive back for Grenada HS. During his senior year he recorded 49 tackles (23 solo), 8 interceptions (2 returned for TDs) and 12 pass breakups (8 total defensive TDs). He also lined up at receiver, catching 31 passes for 499 yards and 7 touchdowns.


Forbes was a three sport athlete, lettering in basketball and baseball. The 4-star recruit was ranked as the #3 prospect in Mississippi and #25 in the nation by ESPN and RIvals. His performance led to an invite to the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.


The Grenada cornerback was highly recruited by MIssissippi State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Memphis and Louisiana-Monroe. Forbes ultimately committed to play for the MSU Bulldogs.


As a true freshman in 2020, Forbes appeared in all 11 games with nine starts. He recorded 5 interceptions on the season, returning his 5th interception during the Armed Forces Bowl for a 90 yard touchdown (Bowl record).


In '20 the Bulldogs corner started all 13 games and totaled 60 tackles (46 solo), 5.0 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 3 interceptions (led the team). Forbes also led the MSU defense with 5 pass breakups.


Achievements

  • '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 INT)

  • '20 AP All-Bowl Team

Last season Forbes started in all 12 games, recording 36 tackles, 1.0 tackles for loss. Also, the defensive back led the SEC with 6 interceptions ( 3rd in the nation) with 3 returned for TDs and 10 pass breakups (led the team).


Forbes finished his career 4th among active FBS players in career interception return yards with 390.


PROS

  • Displays fluid hips and exceptional change of direction ability

  • Traits of a ball hawk are evident and opposing QB's would frequently shy away from his side of the field

  • Scheme versatile with the ability to excel in man or zone coverage

  • Utilizes length to disrupt passing windows (32" arms) and excels in 50/50 situations

  • Instincts and field vision are evident


CONS

  • Weight and frame a slight concern when facing physical receivers

  • Tackling ability is lacking at times, too often drags down ball carriers instead of squaring up

  • Susceptible to taking bad angles when pursuing the ball

  • Occasional issues defending the double move, most notably when facing athletic receivers

  • Can get caught up in the wash in run support


Outlook

Forbes concluded his career as the FBS career record holder with 6 pick-sixes and the FBS active career leader in overall defensive touchdowns with 6. Forbes is also the FBS career leader with 14 career interceptions.


Forbes has experience playing man and zone coverage schemes, which shouldn't be understated. In a deep cornerback class, Forbes could be the 4th or 5th cornerback selected based on team preference.


Forbes has a playmaking mentality, which bodes well for the cornerback needy team that selects him. It's clear the MSU cornerback has all the tools to have an immediate impact on the next level.


*Games Watched- 9/10/22 vs Arizona, 10/1 vs Texas A&M, 10/8 vs Arkansas, 10/15 vs Kentucky, 10/22 vs Alabama & 11/19 vs ETSU


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