2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Emmanuel Forbes

December 17, 2022 1:00 PM EST

Clark Phillips Scouting Report picture

School: Mississippi State

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 180

Eligibility: JR

Uniform: #13

Position: CB

Evaluated by: Sam Teets
Twitter: Sam_Teets33
December 17, 2022

Prospect Overview

2020: 11 games
2021: 13 games
2022: 11 games

Forbes was a four-star recruit Grenada High School in Grenada, Miss. in the class of 2020. He was the No. 186 recruit according to 247Sports, No. 229 for Rivals, and No. 168 for On3.com. ESPN ranked him 247th in the nation with an 81 grade out of 100.

Emmanuel Forbes Scouting Report image 1

As a high school senior, Forbes amassed 49 tackles, eight interceptions, 12 passes defensed, and two defensive touchdowns. He also caught 31 passes for 499 yards and seven touchdowns. While at Grenada, Forbes also lettered in basketball and baseball. According to MaxPreps, he averaged 7.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game as a junior on the basketball team.

MaxPreps also credits Forbes with 43 tackles, four interceptions, and 463 all-purpose yards as a junior. The website credits him with four interceptions as a sophomore, two career defensive touchdowns, and two career punt return touchdowns. Forbes was invited to the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. He has ten siblings and was born on Jan. 13, 2001.

The 6'0", 180 lb. corner earned 2020 Freshman All-SEC honors and made the Associated Press' 2020-21 All-Bowl Team. Forbes made 247Sports' True Freshman All-America team in 2020. Phil Steele selected the former four-star recruit as a Second-Team All-SEC corner in 2020.

Forbes took over as a full-time starter for the final nine games of his freshman season. He owns the SEC and FBS pick-six records with six to date, and his 14 interceptions are the most among active FBS defenders. Sixth-year Louisiana safety Bralen Trahan is the only other active FBS player with at least 13 interceptions. Forbes is on pace to lead Mississippi State in interceptions for the third consecutive year.

Emmanuel Forbes Scouting Report image 2


Forbes is unofficially listed at 6'0", 180 lbs. He's an outside corner who primarily lines up on the right side of the field regardless of if it's the boundary or field side. Forbes played to both the right and left sides of the alignment against Kentucky in 2021 and 2022, but he didn't shift in other matchups.

His ball production ranks among the best in the 2023 cornerback class. Forbes owns the SEC and FBS pick-six records with six to date. He has excellent ball tracking skills and high points the ball to make interceptions outside of his frame. Forbes targets the football at the catch point, and his long arms create a large sphere of influence. His length also helps him battle and batter receivers early in routes.

Forbes has some limitations in press coverage and appears at his best when using the soft-shoe press technique. Soft-shoe press coverage is unique because the defensive back is less aggressive at the line of scrimmage and doesn't begin to physically engage the receiver until he enters his stem.

Forbes' long strides and speed allow him to carry vertical routes and avoid being stacked. He lacks elite speed but is fast enough to stick with most receivers. Forbes has high hips, but they're fluid and allow him to flip in transition with little to no hesitation. The true junior reads the quarterback's eyes to undercut routes and is instinctive when he has eyes on the quarterback.

Forbes is experienced in man and zone concepts and squeezes routes along the sideline. He charges downhill to challenge wide receiver screens and is willing to drive and make plays against the run occasionally.

Forbes has excellent vertical leaping ability. According to 247Sports, he jumped 39.9" while still in high school at The Opening Regional in March of 2019. For reference, Tariq Woolen was the only cornerback to jump higher than 39.5"; at the 2022 NFL Combine. Only three of the ten corners who tested jumped 39.0" or higher.

Areas for Improvement

Missed tackles are a major concern for Forbes. He doesn't wrap up on his tackle attempts and lacks the power in his extremely thin frame to bring down offensive players without getting square and wrapping up. Forbes' appetite as a run defender is hot and cold, usually leaning toward cold. He's less than enthusiastic about initiating contact. His low play strength shows up in tackles and block shedding. Blocking wide receivers easily contain and drive Forbes back.

The former four-star recruit is thin throughout his frame with high hips. His long steps sometimes leave him unbalanced and occasionally lead to stumbling. Forbes' footwork appears hoppy at times, and his foot speed varies between ideal and subpar. His backpedal is high and includes bending at the waist. Forbes flips his hips well, but his transitions are sometimes a step slow and leggy.

His punches in press are weak and too predictable, making them easy to avoid. In true press coverage (instead of soft-shoe), he'll lunge to throw ineffective punches and end up off balance and in a trail position. The Mississippi native is quick to declare his hips and has some difficulty staying attached to receivers at the tops of their routes. He struggles to navigate through congested route lanes over the middle of the field.

Forbes has little to no experience working in the slot. A decent chunk of his interceptions came on opportune deflections.

Forbes needs to show more hunger in the running game and rework how he addresses blocks. Ideally, he'll add ten to 15 pounds to his frame once he enters the NFL, assuming he'll still be able to maintain his speed and fluidity at that weight. Forbes must wrap up when he flies in for tackles. He's too undisciplined as a tackler, which makes it easy to juke or run through him.

Lastly, Forbes should strive to correct his footwork. When he ends up off balance or beat, it's usually because his feet aren't set to help him drive or change directions.

Emmanuel Forbes Scouting Report image 3

Draft Stock

Forbes is a big play cornerback with good ball skills, height, instincts, and length, but he lacks the frame to contribute in all areas of the game. Forbes won't offer much as a run defender, and he shouldn't be tasked with snaps as a true press corner. He lacks the fluidity and footwork to consistently stay attached to receivers in man coverage, making him best fit for a zone-heavy scheme. Forbes currently projects as a top 100 selection.

Forbes best projects as an outside corner in a zone-heavy scheme that gives their defensive backs plenty of press opportunities. I gave Forbes a late second to late third round grade. It's unlikely he falls to the fourth round, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility. There's very little chance he goes in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Forbes isn't as adept at mirroring routes as twitchier 2023 prospects like Utah's Clark Phillips III and Illinois' Devon Witherspoon. This cornerback class is loaded at the top, which could push Forbes into the mid-to-late third round range. He sits in a very precarious range where a few bad performances could make a massive difference in his draft stock.

He at least ranks below Oregon's Christian Gonzalez, Phillips, Penn State's Joey Porter Jr., Georgia's Kelee Ringo, South Carolina's Cam Smith, and Witherspoon. Alabama's Eli Ricks and Syracuse's Garrett Williams (who is recovering from a torn ACL) have questions to answer in the pre-draft process, but they could jump Forbes. Michigan's DJ Turner is also in contention for a draft pick in the same range as Forbes.

Poor testing or interviewing in the pre-draft process could cause Forbes to drop below Louisville's Kei'Trel Clark, TCU's Tre'vius Hodges-Tomlinson, Stanford's Kyu Blu Kelly, or Miami's Tyrique Stevenson come draft night. Forbes should go ahead of those corners and other potential fourth round picks like Virginia's Anthony Johnson and Iowa's Riley Moss, but it's not a lock.

Emmanuel Forbes Scouting Report image 4

Player Comparison

Player comparisons aren't an exact science, but LSU's Cordale Flott is the most recent cornerback prospect who possesses similar traits to Forbes. Flott is a lean defensive back listed at 6'0", 175 lbs. The New York Giants picked him with the 81st overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft ahead of more well-known corner prospects like Jalyn Armour-Davis, Coby Bryant, Damarri Mathis, Joshua Williams, and Tariq Woolen.

Flott spent three years at LSU, playing starting snaps in his sophomore and junior seasons. Unlike Forbes, Flott primarily played in the slot. However, he still played nearly 400 career snaps as an outside corner. Despite concerns about his lack of mass, Flott has three starts at outside corner for the New York Giants this season.

Similar to Forbes, Flott is a somewhat tall, lean, high-hipped corner who showcases better hip mobility than you would expect for a player with his build. They both battle for the ball at the catch point and display plus ball skills. They showcase recovery speed on vertical routes but struggle staying attached to receivers on more complex intermediate routes in man coverage. Both are best fits in zone-heavy schemes.

While Flott and Forbes lack the size to consistently shed blocks, finish tackles, and contribute against the run, they occasionally have moments where they trigger downhill and make big plays. Flott had more of these splash moments in college than Forbes and generally played with a more aggressive mentality. Both need to clean up their tackling form.

There's plenty of room to poke holes in this comparison. As previously stated, Flott primarily played in the slot in college while Forbes plays exclusively outside corner. I anticipate Forbes will have much larger arms and hands than Flott, who ranked in the tenth percentile or lower for those measurements.

Games Evaluated

  • LSU (2021)
  • Alabama (2021)
  • Kentucky (2021)
  • Arizona (2022)
  • LSU (2022)
  • Texas A&M (2022)
  • Kentucky (2022)
  • Alabama (2022)

Scouting Video Courtesy of Sick EditzHD

Scouting Reports Link
Zach Harrison Link
Nolan Smith Link
Luke Musgrave Link
Mike Morris Link
Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson Link
Emmanuel Forbes Link
Clark Phillips Link
Jahmyr Gibbs Link
Tyree Wilson Link
Isaiah Foskey Link
Peter Skoronski Link
C.J. Stroud Link
Bryce Young Link
Jermaine Johnson II Link
Trey McBride Link
Kenny Pickett Link
Evan Neal Link
Aidan Hutchinson Link
Kayvon Thibodeaux Link
Sam Howell Link
Spencer Rattler Link
Caleb Farley Link
Jaylen Waddle Link
Christian Darrisaw Link
Kadarius Toney Link
Zach Wilson Link
Daviyon Nixon Link
Samuel Cosmi Link
Micah Parsons Link
Ja'Marr Chase Link
Penei Sewell Link
Trevor Lawrence Link
Tylan Wallace Link
Kyle Pitts Link
Justin Fields Link
Seth Williams Link
Chuba Hubbard Link
Travis Etienne Link
Walker Little Link
Tua Tagovailoa Link
Jeffrey Okudah Link
Albert Okbuegbunam Link
Tee Higgins Link
Jalen Hurts Link
Austin Jackson Link
Curtis Weaver Link
Javon Kinlaw Link
Derrick Brown Link
Tyler Biadasz Link
D'Andre Swift Link
Shaquille Quarterman Link
Isaiah Simmons Link
C.J. Henderson Link
Grant Delpit Link
Tristan Wirfs Link
Andrew Thomas Link
A.J Epenesa Link
Chase Young Link
Jerry Jeudy Link
CeeDee Lamb Link
Kyler Murray Link
Nick Bosa Link
Clelin Ferrell Link
Jawaan Taylor Link
T.J. Hockenson Link
Noah Fant Link
Andre Dillard Link
Nasir Adderley Link
Dexter Lawrence Link
Rashan Gary Link
Damien Harris Link
Rodney Anderson Link
Marquise Brown Link
D. K. Metcalf Link
Dwayne Haskins Link
Deionte Thompson Link
Jachai Polite Link
Greedy Williams Link
Jarrett Stidham Link
Drew Lock Link
Justin Herbert Link