Cornerback should still be on the Detroit Lions’ radar in next month’s draft, and they’ll have potential first-rounder Emmanuel Forbes in for a pre-draft visit.
Even after a run through free agency where they added Cameron Sutton, C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley, the Detroit Lions could (or even should) still have cornerback on their radar in next month’s draft as a need beyond next season. Having four of the first 55 picks positions them to get a good player from a deep class at the position.
To that end, WCBI-TV in Mississippi has reported the Lions are among the teams who will have Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes in for a pre-draft visit. The Lions also had an informal meeting with him at the NFL Combine.
Forbes is widely regarded as a potential first-round pick, perhaps even top-20 overall (ESPN’s Mel Kiper recently projected him at No. 16 to the Washington Commanders). He has great ball skills, totaling 20 pass breakups, 14 interceptions and six pick-sixes over his three seasons at Mississippi State. Last season, he was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded corner in the SEC (87.2).
The knock on Forbes is his slight frame, at 6-foot-1 but just weighing just 166 pounds at the Combine. But he was apparently up to 170 pounds at Mississippi State’s Pro Day, with the Lions in attendance as all 32 teams were on the ground in Starkville. He stood on his outstanding numbers from the Combine (4.35 40-yard dash, 37.5-inch vertical, 10-foot-11 inch broad jump) at Tuesday’s Pro Day, as he should have.
2023 NFL Draft: Emmanuel Forbes might be a perfect fit for the Detroit Lions
At the Combine, via MLive, Forbes noted how he never missed a game in college due to injury.
"I’m a fast, physical corner for my size, and I like to create turnovers, and I do my job really well,” Forbes said at the scouting combine. “Played in the SEC for three years and never missed one game and never had a football injury. I feel like I’m durable and physical for my size."
Beyond his coverage ability, Forbes had at least 45 tackles in all three of his seasons at Mississippi State, with five tackles for loss and a sack in 2021. He seems like just the kind of cornerback the Lions would love to have, and he might be very high on their draft board as they do to their diligence on the position.