Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes was taken by the Washington Commanders with the No. 16 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Forbes is the second corner taken off the board and will join a pass defense that gave up the fourth-least passing yards in the entire league last season.
A Mississippi native who was a three-year starter at Mississippi State, Emmanuel Forbes enters the NFL Draft following a strong junior year and a stellar showing at the combine and has a legit chance at being a first-round pick.
Forbes burst onto the scene in 2020 when he recorded 44 tackles, five interceptions, and three touchdowns in his freshman season. After getting three more interceptions in 2021, he had six interceptions and 46 tackles last season to go along with three more touchdowns.
Emmanuel Forbes: Scouting Report
Forbes’ talent as a ballhawk is evident, as he holds the collegiate record with six career pick-sixes. While he’s just 6 feet, he has incredible leaping ability and was among the nation’s best at being able to high-point balls. He’s got good speed (he ran a 4.35 at the combine) and also showed an ability to make an impact in the run game. That said, he weighed in at 166 lbs, which could impact his ability to make plays while tackling at the next level.
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein wrote that Forbes “pounces on quick-game throws and has the ball skills to take the ball away. He’s highly capable in all forms of zone coverage and operates out of press-man, but is inconsistent in matching the release and staying in phase with routes through sharp cuts. Forbes could become an early starter with quality ball production, but teams might need to expect some up-and-down performances.”
NFL.com graded him at 6.36 which correlates to an average starter with development over time. Next-gen stats graded him at 88 (good), and Zierlein gave him a comparison to Cam Dantzler.
Mock Draft landing spots
Forbes is projected to be a late first-rounder in several mocks. ESPN’s Matt Miller has the cornerback headed to the Giants with pick No. 25, CBS’ Ryan Palmer has him headed to the Ravens with pick No. 22, and NFL.com’s Chad Reuter sees him going to the Jaguars with pick No. 31. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler sees him dropping to the second round and getting picked up by the Colts with pick No. 35.