New England Patriots Selected Christian Gonzalez CB Out Of Oregon With Their 1st Round Pick

After trading down for the #17 pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots selected Christian Gonzalez a cornerback out of Oregon. Many experts had Gonzalez going in the top 10 so this looks like a great selection for the Patriots. Gonzalez brings great size to the position.

This could be an absolute steal for the Patriots. Gonzalez was going as high as #3 overall according to CBS Sports, and had him going 7th overall.

Gonzalez (6’1/197) was initially recruited as a four-star caliber safety. He earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 status with Colorado in 2021 before transferring to Oregon in 2022 where he recorded 50 tackles, 11 PBU and four interceptions to go with a 74.7 NFL passer rating when targeted. The All-Pac-12 DB then went out and proved his ridiculous athleticism at the Combine by running a 4.38s 40-yard dash (95th%), 41.5” vert (99th%) and a near-perfect 9.95 RAS. His 32” arms allow him to jam at the line and swat away passes that smaller corners cannot reach. A smooth strider who has a press man profile, Gonzalez is very difficult to stack vertically with his jets but is still flexible enough to stay in phase throughout breaks. With Oregon’s potent offense lighting up scoreboards up and down the west coast, he defended 64 passes while allowing 495 yards and three touchdowns as opponents tried to catch up to Bo Nix and the high-octane Ducks. Gonzalez’s torso is a little slight which can hinder him in run support, but he really improved this season by posting a rock solid 4.9% missed tackle rate. Overall, Gonzalez has the type of profile defensive coordinators are desperate for.