Carolina Panthers 2023 NFL Draft scouting report: Emmanuel Forbes

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

Emmanuel Forbes scouting report

Perhaps what I find to be most interesting about such a highly regarded cornerback class for the 2023 NFL Draft is the lack of ball production from most of the top prospects. That’s not the case for Emmanuel Forbes.

Forbes is an absolute ball-hawk with dynamic playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. The Mississippi State product accumulated 14 interceptions over his last three collegiate seasons, while becoming the SEC and FBS record holder for most career pick-sixes, having immediately turned six of those into points for his team.

Forbes consistently displays elite instincts, vision, and soft hands at the catch point. He has the recovery and closing speed needed to facilitate game-breaking plays, evidenced by his scorching 4.35-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The eye-popping numbers haven’t come against slouch opponents, either, having played against top-tier talent in the SEC. One of his pick-sixes came against Kentucky’s Will Levis this past season, where the defensive back recognized the formation and pre-snap movement of his tasked receiver, read the eyes of the quarterback, and jumped the screen pass for a relaxed trot into the end-zone.

The question mark on Forbes stems from his 166-pound frame. That weight marks the lowest for any cornerback recorded since 2000. He did weigh in four pounds heavier, coming in at 170, at his pro-day.

Despite his diminutive weight, he doesn’t avoid contact on the field. He registered a run-defense grade of 79.7 according to Pro Football Focus to couple with his impressive 89.3 coverage grade - something which shouldn't be overlooked by the Carolina Panthers.