The New England Patriots are moving to a great start in the NFL Draft of 2023 as they have selected Christian Gonzalez, the cornerback from Oregon, in the first round on Thursday night. This was definitely quite an interesting move, as back in 2022 the team had made a surprising selection on day one.
This time around, the team had a consensus selection with Gonzalez, who was the top-rated corner in the entire draft. As it turns out, the Patriots also got Gonzalez while they were picking up a selection for the fourth round. There has been a major hype around Gonzalez- and for good reason. He has an elite athletic profile, explosiveness, and excellent straight-line speed, coupled with fluidity to mirror receivers at all of the three levels, whilst being an instinctive and cerebral defender who would be able to play in multiple coverage schemes.
Gonzalez Could Be The Best Signing for New England Patriots
While it is quite early to project the roles already, the latest New England Patriots pick does have the potential to play the entire boundary corner position against a true X receiver- with Jonathan Jones playing the field, while Marcus Jones mans the slot. The 6-foot-1 frame of this corner at around 200 pounds does add a lot more size to the relatively undersized picks for cornerbacks. The last two decades did see the defense of Bill Belichick at its peak, especially when the Patriots had a shutdown corner in Ty Law or Stephon Gilmore. Although Gonzalez has been relatively unproven, he does have the potential to be the next big thing.
Since the New England Patriots have finally loaded their offenses around the AFC, they could have a better chance in the many match ups against the explosive offenses of Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, and the entire Miami team.