5 cornerbacks the Carolina Panthers could select in the 2023 NFL Draft

Emmanuel Forbes
Emmanuel Forbes / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers
Emmanuel Forbes / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers could draft Emmanuel Forbes

The term ballhawk is overused and unwarranted by the majority of cornerbacks during pre-draft assessments. However, that is not the case where Emmanuel Forbes is concerned. 

Forbes is an exceptional prospect that would be a top-10 lock with a larger frame. His explosiveness, speed, and length look every bit like an NFL shutdown cornerback, which is exactly what the Carolina Panthers need opposite Jaycee Horn long-term. 

Despite the Mississippi State product being on the light side, that doesn't impact his ability to influence matters in press coverage. Forbes also has outstanding reactions to read the quarterback and boasts the closing speed to transform opportunities into turnovers at will. 

While Forbes has athletic attributes to spare, his football IQ and cerebral approach are other intriguing aspects of his game that deserve respect. It won't be easy against more physically-imposing wideouts at the next level, but the foundations are there for the prospect to become a dominant force with a few tweaks and a little extra muscle mass. 

Whether his incredible performance at the NFL Scouting Combine puts Forbes out of reach for Carolina at No. 39 overall remains to be seen. If the player does make it that far down the pecking order, then a serious discussion must be had considering the upside involved.