May 22, 2024

Regrading the NFL Draught: Do the Washington Commanders fail to select Emmanuel For

Bleacher Report’s midseason grades gave the Washington Commanders a low grade for selecting cornerback Emmanuel Forbes in the first round.

Following one of the most significant games of his rookie season, Washington Commanders first-round selection Emmanuel Forbes recorded three tackles and two pass breakups in a 20-17 victory over the New England Patriots.

At the halfway point of the season, Bleacher Report gave the Commanders a D+ for their selection of the 22-year-old cornerback, so Forbes’ performance was insufficient to save his grade.

“Forbes was the 2023 class’ most instinctive secondary defender (14 INTs in three years), but the first two months of the season weren’t kind to the Mississippi State product,” writes Bleacher Report. “He was benched after allowing 401 yards as the primary cover man through five weeks.”

Before seeing 48 defensive snaps against New England, Forbes played just 10 total in Weeks 6–8.

In eight games this season, Forbes has drawn two starts and accumulated 23 tackles, seven pass deflections, two tackles for loss, and one interception.

Forbes arrived with high hopes for the Commanders, having been selected No. 16 overall. He has faced hardships, but not all of them have been his fault.

“While his lack of success can be blamed on individual performance, an increased rate of man coverage with zero safety help placed Forbes in an inopportune position,” writes Bleacher Report. “A key member of the Cover 3 in college, he’ll be able to display his first-round talent in zone coverage with increased confidence and help over the top.

It is necessary to maintain consistency externally.

Despite his high level of play, one of the main reasons Bleacher Report gave Forbes a low grade is that he was the second-highest drafted corner in the draft—only Seattle Seahawks star Devon Witherspoon, who was selected fifth overall—in the draught.

Forbes was selected by the Commanders over fellow cornerback Christian Gonzalez, who was selected by the New England Patriots with the number one overall pick. Gonzalez went on to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month in September before sustaining a shoulder injury that ended his season.

These two elements each had a part in the D.

“Considering the success from corners Devon Witherspoon and the player that heard his name called right after Forbes on draught night (Gonzalez), his play has to ratchet up multiple levels for his grade to improve,” according to Bleacher Report.

Forbes is well on his way to achieving just that with more performances like the one in Foxboro. This Sunday, when the Commanders travel to face the Seattle Seahawks, he’ll aim to keep doing just that.

The game will begin inside Lumen Field at 4:25 p.m. EST.

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