Emmanuel Forbes has gotten a lot of advice since he was drafted by the Washington Commanders, from coaches to current and players alike.
One of the best tips he's gotten so far has come from a fan.
Let's set the scene first: after a wild night and getting a call from head coach Ron Rivera informing him the Commanders would draft him with the No. 16 overall pick, Forbes was standing at National Harbor with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jonathan Allen surrounded by thousands of people, all of which were excited to see him rock the Burgundy & Gold.
Amid all the introductions he made that day, one fan wearing a Sean Taylor jersey approached him looking for a picture with the first-round pick...and to offer some wisdom.
This particular fan has followed the team since the 1970s, so she has seen the franchise win all three of their Super Bowl titles and rooted for some of the best players the team has ever had. The way this fan sees it, Forbes has some big shoes to fill, and those shoes were worn by No. 28.
"Darrell Green, the fastest corner in the NFL," the fan said. "So, if you haven't watched his tape, you start studying."
She's right, of course; Green is known for his speed, but there is much more to his reputation. His Hall of Fame career includes two Super Bowl championships, seven Pro Bowls and three All-Pro selections. He had 54 interceptions in his 20-year career, all with Washington, and six were returned for touchdowns.
Now, it would be unfair to proclaim Forbes as a reincarnation of Green, but the two do share some traits. For one, Forbes also has rare speed for a cornerback. His 4.35 40-yard dash was tied for the fifth-fastest at the NFL Combine this year. And Forbes has a knack for creating turnovers as well; as most Washington fans know by now, he broke an FBS record with six interceptions returned for touchdowns in his college career.
That playmaking ability is exactly why the Commanders couldn't pass him up.
"I think people throw around the term ballhawk pretty loosely. This guy really is that," said general manager Martin Mayhew. "The guy is an impact player. He's one of my favorite guys in this draft. From studying all these guys, he really was a guy that it was really fun to watch, because the guy gets the ball."
So far, Forbes has lived up to those expectations. He got an interception during rookie minicamp, and he's held his own against the likes of Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson. That isn't a surprise to Jack Del Rio, who is ecstatic to have Forbes as part of the secondary.
"He's got great ball skills. He's very bright and he played against some of the best competition that you can being in the SEC and held up week in and week out was a playmaker," Del Rio said.
After getting a hug from Forbes, the fan pointed a finger at him as she walked away and said, "Darrell Green. Corner. 28. You start studying that tape." Forbes smiled and said he would.
He only had one thing to say as the fan walked away: "Absolutely love the fans here. Love'em."
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