Vikings to Meet with Big-Time Playmaking CB Prospect

Nov 19, 2022; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs cornerback Emmanuel Forbes (13) returns an interception for a touchdown against the East Tennessee State Buccaneers during the second quarter at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The cornerback class in the 2023 NFL Draft is theorized to be one of the deeper sections of this year’s group of prospects with multiple immediate starters being available in the early portions of the draft. The Minnesota Vikings appear to be preparing to capitalize on this portion of the draft as they are scheduled to meet with a big-time playmaking CB prospect in Emmanuel Forbes out of Mississippi State.

Big-Time Playmaking CB Prospect
Sep 10, 2022; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs cornerback Emmanuel Forbes (13) against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This news was reported by Jon Sokoloff, who covers the Mississippi State program for WCBI News. The Vikings have been connected to Forbes since very early on in the offseason, seeing as he is a prospect projected to go in the latter portions of the first round. In fact, in Mel Kiper’s very first mock draft back in January, he had the Vikings selecting Forbes with the 23rd overall pick.

Forbes is a very intriguing prospect for a couple of reasons. Firstly, his playmaking ability and ball skills are virtually unmatched in college football. In both 2020 and 2022, he finished among the top-3 players in the NCAA in interceptions, recording 5 in 2020 and 6 in 2022. His 14 career picks ranks 16th all-time in SEC history.

Mar 3, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Mississippi State defensive back Emmanuel Forbes (DB12) participates in drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On top of that, he has the wheels to keep up with anybody in the league. He posted a 4.35 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine with a blistering 1.48 10-yard split. His superb athleticism makes it nearly impossible to gain an edge on him down the field.

The one big problem with Forbes is his size. He is 6’1 which is adequate for a corner, but with a slight frame of just 166 pounds (nine pounds lighter than Devonta Smith’s weight coming into the draft), the concern is that he could bullied by bigger receivers, especially if he plays on the boundary.

Oct 22, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Emmanuel Forbes (13) warms up before a game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, though, some terrific instincts in coverage should carry him to a top-50 selection in this upcoming draft. With the Vikings needing more depth at CB, and perhaps even another starting caliber corner depending on how Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans step up in their second NFL seasons, Forbes makes a lot of sense for the Vikings.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.