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2023 NFL Draft: Patriots select Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez at No. 17

Kansas City, MO, USA; Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez walks the NFL Draft Red Carpet before the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots moved down to 17th overall, added a fourth-round pick, and they still landed the second-best cornerback on the PFF big board.

Gonzalez has the size and speed teams look for at the position, and he had the best season of his career after transferring to Oregon in 2022, racking up four interceptions and six pass breakups.

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Strengths, weaknesses and NFL role

Where he wins: Movement Skills

Gonzalez's combination of size, twitch and smooth hips makes it look like he's playing on “easy” mode. He rarely gets left in the dust.

What's his role? Versatile CB

On tape, Gonzalez is the most scheme and alignment versatile corner in the class. Press, off, man, zone, outside, inside – Gonzalez can do it all.

What he can improve: Playing with an edge

The only thing keeping Gonzalez from being CB1 and a top-five pick is his mentality. If you can light a little fire under him, Gonzalez will be stud in the league.

Download the PFF draft guide for an in-depth look at the top players in the 2023 NFL Draft class. 


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