Carolina Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: War Room edition

Emmanuel Forbes
Emmanuel Forbes / Justin Ford/GettyImages
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Carolina Panthers
Emmanuel Forbes / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers draft Emmanuel Forbes

  • Cornerback | Mississippi State Bulldogs
  • Round No. 2 (Pick No. 39)

When general manager Scott Fitterer listed the draft needs during his recent media availability, it was shocking to hear the general manager not mention the cornerback position. The Carolina Panthers cannot go into the new campaign with their current options - with everyone aside from Jaycee Horn having some major question marks to overcome. 

Donte Jackson is working his way back slowly from a torn Achilles, which is concerning. C.J. Henderson is one season away from being cast aside if things don't improve and Keith Taylor Jr. is another that must bounce back after an indifferent campaign in 2022. 

This makes finding another potential lockdown presence via the draft for Ejiro Evero extremely important. If Emmanuel Forbes somehow makes it this far down the pecking order, the Panthers shouldn't think twice. 

Forbes is the true definition of a ballhawk. He produces turnovers almost at will and has the blazing speed needed to go downfield with any wide receiver for good measure. 

The former Mississippi State stud is a little on the light side, but Forbes was a commanding force in the SEC last season and should transition well despite the steep upturn in quality. There could be an issue with tackling on running downs, but the prospect has a frame that can bulk up without losing some of his elite qualities.

Pairing Forbes with Horn gives the Panthers a potentially sensational cornerback tandem long-term. Something that would put less pressure on underperforming players already on the roster, too.