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CB Christian Gonzalez: NFL Draft scouting report

We break down Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez with a scouting report heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.

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EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 19: Defensive back Christian Gonzalez #0 of the Oregon Ducks warms up before the game against the Utah Utes at Autzen Stadium on November 19, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon. Photo by Ali Gradischer/Getty Images

Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez was taken by the New England Patriots with the No. 17 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He was the third corner to be taken off the board and this class and was thought by some to be a potential top five pick. He’ll join a Patriots secondary that just lost veteran safety Devin McCourty to retirement.

The cornerback position is arguably one of the toughest to play in the NFL with the volume of wide receivers only getting more talented each year and the league evolving towards a pass-heavy scheme. Oregon defensive back Christian Gonzalez is looking to become the league’s next lockdown corner when he enters the 2023 NFL Draft, with many analysts pegging him as one of the safest prospects in this draft class.

Gonzalez was recruited as a four-star player out of The Colony High School in Texas and followed suit by joining Colorado in the Pac-12. He started all six games for the Buffaloes in the 2020-shortened season, recording 25 total tackles and five passes defended. In his second season at Colorado, Gonzalez earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 accolades after logging five passes defended with 53 total tackles, including five for a loss.

Following Colorado’s defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin’s departure to Oregon, Gonzalez also headed for Eugene in 2022 where he appeared in 12 games for the Ducks. He was selected as first-team All-Pac-12 after leading Oregon with four interceptions and seven pass-breakups alongside 50 total tackles.

Christian Gonzalez: Scouting Report

At 6’1” and 197 lbs Gonzalez possesses a nice combination of size, strength, and speed that will serve him well in lining up against the NFL’s best wideouts. The Oregon product recorded a 4.38 40-yard dash with a 41.5” vertical jump at the combine, which illustrates his capability of lining up at the line of scrimmage and defending opposing receivers either man-to-man or in zone coverage.

The tangibles overlook some of the growth opportunities for Gonzalez, who can work to be a bit better in anticipating throws and turning his head around a bit quicker when tracking the ball downfield. While he’s coming off back-to-back seasons with 50-plus total tackles, he stands to benefit from being a more balanced tackler in the open field. analyst Lance Zurlein has Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as a viable comparison, with a prospect grade of 6.70 (Year 1 starter). According to, an NFC team Personnel director commented about Gonzalez, “He’s got size, he’s strong, he can run, he’s long. I want all of that. He just needs to keep working at his craft.”

Mock Draft landing spots

As one of the best defensive backs in the draft, most mocks have Gonzalez getting snapped up early in the first round. CBS’ Ryan Palmer sees him going to the Raiders with the seventh overall pick, and The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has him taken a pick earlier at No. 6 by the Detroit Lions. PFT’s Peter King sees him dropping to the 11th overall pick, where he would land with the Arizona Cardinals, and’s Peter Schrager sees the Bears lucking out with him at No. 9 overall.