ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Washington Commanders selected Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes with the 16th pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night, filling a major area of need in the secondary.

The Commanders chose Forbes over Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez, another cornerback who was considered a potential top-10 pick and fell into the second half of the first round. Gonzalez went next at No. 17 to the New England Patriots.

Forbes had six interceptions, including three returned for a touchdown, in his third and final season in Starkville. With six career pick-6s, he’s tied for the most of any college player since 1976.

The 6-foot-1, 166-pound native of Grenada, Mississippi, gives the Commanders some ball-hawking talent at the position beyond projected starters Kendall Fuller and Benjamin St-Juste, helping out the coverage in what should be a boost for a defensive front that’s among the best in the NFL.

Three-time All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey endorsed the selection of Forbes, tweeting: “LOVE THAT PICK! @emmanuelforbes7 is LIKE THAT!”

For the first time in several years, Washington was not looking for a quarterback after planning for 2022 fifth-round pick Sam Howell to start and signing veteran Jacoby Brissett. Kentucky’s Will Levis was still on the board when the Commanders took Forbes.

Washington has seven more picks — one each in the second, third, fourth, fifth and seventh rounds and two in the sixth — and still has needs along the offensive line and at linebacker. Edge rusher could also be an option after the team decided not to pick up Chase Young’s fifth-year option for the 2024 season.