2023 NFL Draft: Underrated rookies to watch this season

Emmanuel Forbes (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Emmanuel Forbes (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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2023 NFL Mock Draft
Nov 19, 2022; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs cornerback Emmanuel Forbes (13) returns an interception for a touchdown against the East Tennessee State Buccaneers during the second quarter at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Emmanuel Forbes, Cornerback, Washington Commanders

Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes is another player who was selected in the first round and went higher than expected. There were rumors heading into the draft that Forbes, who was the 30th player on the consensus big board, was not making it out of the first round. The only question was which team would take him.

Like the Jets, the Washington Commanders surprised everyone by making Forbes the third cornerback to go off the board over a plethora of other talented cornerbacks like Christian Gonzalez, Joey Porter Jr., and Deonte Banks. But just like Will McDonald IV, Forbes has what it takes to produce early and make the Commanders happy with their decision to draft him.

Emmanuel Forbes is a unique cornerback. He is 6’1 and 166 lbs. but plays with a remarkable amount of physicality despite having a very small frame. He was also incredibly productive during his final season at Mississippi State, ranking top ten in the nation among power five cornerbacks in PFF coverage grade and passer rating allowed when targeted.

He’s also a really good athlete, sporting a 37.5-inch vertical (80th percentile) and a 4.35 forty-yard dash (97th percentile). All of this makes him a pretty exciting prospect, even with his terrifyingly small frame. If he can overcome that, he has a chance to be really good early in his career, especially considering he will be one of the Commanders’ top cornerbacks right away.