Patriots Trade Back, Grab CB Gonzalez with the 17th Overall Pick
As expected, the Patriots did a little maneuvering as they traded out of the 14th overall spot on Thursday night during the league’s Round 1 coverage of the 2023 NFL Draft.
New England made a deal with Pittsburgh to move back to 17 while picking up a 4th round selection (120th overall pick) in the trade.
With that selection they took Oregon defensive back Christian Gonzalez, with the rookie having been one of the highest-rated cornerbacks in the draft.
Looking at the film, Gonzalez is impressive. He’s a big player, coming in at 6’1″ 197lbs and he’s both athletic and not afraid of contact, showing little fear when it comes to having to come up and make a tackle in the ground game.
He’s got terrific speed and athleticism, with really good instincts and great change of direction. Among his highlights in college, one thing that also stands out is how well he swivels and moves, as well as his impressive ability to go up and attack the football. He’s also really physical and has great vision, making a fair amount of plays where he instinctively jumped the route and made the turnover.
He’s also incredibly fast, running a 4.38 40 in the combine and posted a 41.5″ vertical.
Overall, it gives the Patriots a solid, big corner for 2023 and hopefully another foundational player as they continue building their defense. The former Oregon standout joins a secondary that now has second-year players Jack Jones and Marcus Jones, as well as veteran Jonathan Jones, with the rookie giving the club a terrific perimeter player. The Patriots now have a formidable secondary to round out a defense that was already among the best in the NFL last season.
As a result, adding a prospect of his caliber at a premium position certainly feels like a home run. It definitely fills a massive need and the Patriots will head into Day 2 and 3 with 11 more selections, giving them plenty of currency to work with as they continue hopefully adding even more talent in the coming days.
Here’s the full list of 2023 Patriots Draft Picks, which will be updated throughout this weekend’s draft.
Posted Under: 2023 Patriots Draft
Tags: 2023 Patriots Draft Christian Gonzalez
Another big plus was the trade denied the Jets the player they wanted at #15. That player was Broderick Jones. who was selected with the 14 pick by the Steelers. Congrats to Bill Belichick for getting the player they could have taken at 14. Most draft prognosticators had Gonzalez as a top 10 player (Dane Brugler had him at #5).