NFL Draft Profile: Christian Gonzalez

As the NFL's annual free agency frenzy comes to a close, it's time for teams to look forward to the year's best and last chance to improve their rosters: the NFL Draft. As April 27th approaches, we'll look at the prospects most likely to transform a franchise's fortunes.

The Player: Christian Gonzalez, Cornerback

Sometimes, a change of scenery can go a long way. After two relatively anonymous years at Colorado, cornerback Christian Gonzalez transferred to Oregon for the 2022 season and delivered a season so excellent he finds himself near the top of many draft boards. He nabbed four interceptions and broke up seven passes for the Ducks last year. He has a chance to go within the first 10 picks of the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Tools:

Physically, Gonzalez is the complete package at cornerback. He measured in at 6'1", 197 lbs with 32" arms at the NFL Combine, and he excelled in every drill that he deemed worthy of his participation. His 4.38 40-yard dash, 41.5" vertical leap, and 11'1" broad jump were all exceptional. He has the size and athleticism to mirror WR1s in the NFL, but he'll need to polish his game before he can handle NFL power and craftiness.

The Verdict:

Gonzalez burst onto the scene in 2022, so teams may not be completely convinced he has the particular blend of swagger, instincts, and pedigree that lands cornerback in the top five picks in the draft. Still, his tools are second to none, and he has no notable red flags. With coaching, he has all the traits necessary to grow into an elite cornerback in the mold of Jaire Alexander or Patrick Surtain II.

Photo Credit: © Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK