The Washington Commanders have taken Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes with the No. 16 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, giving them one of the most talented defensive backs on the board.
At 166 pounds, Forbes does not have the same weight advantage as some of the other top corners, but one area that Forbes is not light in is athleticism, as he had the fourth fastest 40 times (4.35), a 37.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot-11 broad jump.
Those metrics, plus some standout numbers for the Bulldogs, has ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. convinced that Forbes is an underrated prospect in a deep talent pool.
"I'm a huge fan of Forbes, who is rail thin but really fast," Kiper wrote in his latest mock draft. "He has gone up against some of college football's best wideouts and consistently held his own."
Forbes has proven himself as one of the best defensive backs in the SEC over the last three seasons. He was the highest graded cornerback in the conference during the 2022 season (87.8) and allowed career lows in receptions (26), completion percentage (51%), yards per reception (9.3) and yards after the catch (95).
The areas where Forbes stands out the most are his instincts and ability to track the ball. That led to him getting 22 pass breakups and 13 interceptions, six of which were returned for touchdowns. That includes his score against Kentucky, which came after Forbes jumped Will Levis' pass and didn't break his stride as he ran 60 yards to the end zone.
"He pounces on quick-game throws and has the ball skills to take the ball away," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote in his evaluation of Forbes.
More updates to follow.