Replacing Jalen Ramsey: ‘Super Aggressive’ CB With 4.35 Speed a New Fit for Rams

Jalen Ramsey

Getty Jalen Ramsey on January 1, 2023 in Inglewood.

Mock drafts are known to update as NFL teams near the draft, even for the Los Angeles Rams. In the past two weeks, many analysts are now believing cornerback should be the first priority following the trade for Jalen Ramsey.

The Rams have already been called fits for D.J. Turner of Michigan and Kelee Ringo of national champion Georgia. But now, in part three of Replacing Jalen Ramsey by Heavy, a fast riser with a “super aggressive mentality” from the Southeastern Conference has been called the newest possibility: Emmanuel Forbes of Mississippi State, who comes with similar stature of Ramsey at 6-foot-1 but blazed his 40-yard dash in 4.35 at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

Outside of having gliding speed, he’s got the ball skills and attitude defenses would want…including the Rams.

Forbes Called 1st Round Talent, but Could Fall to No. 36

There are those draft experts like Jack McKessy of The Draft Network on Thursday, March 23 who believe the Bulldog standout is ideal for the Rams.

“Forbes is on the fringe of being a potential first-round pick in this draft class, but there’s a good chance he drops to the No. 36 overall pick—the Rams’ first selection,” McKessy wrote. “He’s got a super aggressive mentality on the outside, and similarly to what the Rams lost with Ramsey, Forbes used that aggression to have some of the best ball production in college football last year.”

An aggressive outside cornerback? Sounds like the prime replacement for Ramsey, as he did his most damage taking on perimeter targets and eliminating catch opportunities for those wide receivers. But there’s also the ball skills Forbes possesses that has his name plastered on NFL Draft boards…the kind that made Football Bowl Subdivision history as McKessy wrote.

“In 2022 alone, Forbes had six interceptions—tied for third in the FBS—and 11 passes defensed, including six career pick-sixes, the most in FBS history,” he said.

When on the field, Forbes is an instinctive one toward the ball but also has the arms and upper body strength to disrupt wide receivers at the line of scrimmage — elements the Rams will need moving forward in the post-Ramsey realm.

“He plays with great instincts and succeeds most when he can play in press situations to throw off opposing receivers,” McKessy said. “The aggressive mentality, ball skills, and production Forbes had in college would be invaluable to a team with a needy secondary like the Rams.”

McKessy isn’t the only analyst who’s a believer Forbes can fit the Rams. Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network has Forbes going to the Rams at No. 69 while Rams insider for The Athletic Jourdan Rodrigue has the Rams also taking him at No. 36.

“They drafted two corners last spring in Cobie Durant and Derion Kendrick, but they need more speed partnering with Durant, who showed some real promise late in 2022. Forbes’ technical skill shows up regardless of the type of scheme he plays in, and that versatility is also a plus,” Rodrigue wrote.

Breakdown: Forbes has Lots to Like as Potential ‘Rams House’ Addition

It’s one thing to have speed, but it’s equipping it on the football field that makes Forbes a threat to offenses — plus a threat for six points:

And when he has nothing but greenery, Forbes becomes his own yards-after-catch monster but for the defense:

But even with his rather thin frame, Forbes takes on a “bulldog” attitude and doesn’t back down:

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The knock on Forbes is that he falls into a habit of struggling on releases, as his foot sliding sometimes doesn’t match the release attack from an opposing receiver. And because he’s an aggressive CB, he can fall for double moves. He’ll have to increase his patience against receivers in the NFL.

Overall, Forbes is a rising name…and a potential name to replace Ramsey in L.A.

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