NFL analyst labels Patriots’ Christian Gonzalez as the next superstar corner: Why NFL Mocks agree

Welcome to Gonzo Island?
New England Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez
New England Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

In a season of absolute misery, the New England Patriots did have some highlights to their season in 2023.  One of those highlights was Christian Gonzalez, the No. 17 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.  Prior to his season-ending injury early in the season, the Oregon product was showing signs of a lockdown corner on the rise.

Perhaps the fact that Gonzales got injured just added to that misery for Patriots fans, but the silver lining is that the 4-13 season may have led to the team drafting its next franchise quarterback in Drake Maye and there will be a fully healthy Gonzalez in 2024, a player who is still just 22 years old.

With defense being the strength of this Patriots team heading into the 2024 NFL season, a young player like Gonzales will really have a chance to make an impact and flourish, especially with some of the receivers he will be going against this upcoming season, including a couple of head-to-head battles with the likes of Tyreek Hill, a player who he held his own against prior to going down with the season-ending injury.

Why Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez landed on the 2024 All-Breakout team

It was that performance against the Miami Dolphins in which Gonzalez picked off Tua Tagovailoa that opened some eyes that the Patriots first-rounder was the real deal.  It has also inspired former NFL player and current analyst Bucky Brooks to name the former Oregon Ducks star to his 2024 NFL All-Breakout team

In his article, Brooks writes:

“The Patriots might have landed the league's next superstar on the island with the 17th overall pick of the 2023 draft. Gonzalez showed rare traits as a big corner (6-1, 205) with ballerina-like feet and hips in an injury-abbreviated rookie season. The smooth-moving playmaker can blanket receivers utilizing various techniques to shrink the field for the passer and pass catcher. Moreover, Gonzalez displays the ball skills and instincts to develop into a takeaway specialist on a defense that could utilize more zone coverage to keep more eyes on the ball. Given the 22-year-old's talents, traits and technique, it is only a matter of time before Gonzalez is recognized as one of the elites on the island.”

Brooks description here must be music to the ears of Patriots fans and adds to the hope of the team’s future.  When you think of names like Ty Law, Aqib Talib, Darrelle Revis and Stephone Gilmore, it’s hard not to grin at the potential of Gonzalez.  Yes, he has the skillset of an elite corner, but he is also a football player who has showed he will get up in the box and make tackles.  That is the kind of player Bill Belichick drafted and the kind of player current head coach Jerod Mayo will enjoy and help grow in the league.

While the Patriots don’t have many big names beyond Matthew Judon, they do have a player in Christian Gonzales who will put the league on notice in 2024. Along with players like Christian Barmore and Kyle Dugger, the New England Patriots are developing a core of players on defense who may just set the foundation for what’s to come in New England.  A shutdown corner is one of the most important positions in football and Gonzalez will prove the Patriots do have that.

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Yeah, it’s a lot of pressure for a 22-year-old entering is second season in the NFL, but he has the look of a superstar and one of the future faces of an organization building to get back to their dominant ways.