2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Christian Gonzalez

  • Christian Gonzalez, 6-2/201

  • Cornerback

  • Oregon

  • Christian Gonzalez Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Superb skill set
  • Talent to be special man-cover corner
  • Fluid mover to run the route and prevent separation
  • Willing tackler
  • Instinctive
  • Ideal height, length, weight
  • Good length
  • Fast
  • Size to match up against big receivers
  • Agility to match up against speed receivers
  • Covers receivers deep over the top
  • Doesn’t need safety help
  • Body control
  • Agile
  • Can flip his hips and run
  • Good vision, eye discipline
  • Should be able to play quickly
  • Upside
  • If he gets a little better, could be elite

  • Weaknesses:
  • Gives up plays he shouldn’t
  • Doesn’t play the ball that well
  • Doesn’t track the ball that well
  • Too casual at times
  • Questionable competitiveness and lack of finish
  • Got pushed around in Georgia game when blocked

  • Summary: Gonzalez started out his collegiate career at Colorado before transferring to Oregon for 2022. He put together a nice decut during the COVID-19-abbreviated 2020 season, notching 25 tackles and five breakups. With Colorado in 2021, he collected 53 tackles and five passes broken up. For 2022, Gonzalez had an impressive season wit h the Ducks. On the year, he recorded 51 tackles, four interceptions and seven passes broken up while showing improvement in his ball skills.

    As a cover corner, there really isn’t anything that Gonzalez can’t do. He is fast, athletic, long and fluid. Gonzalez has the speed and agility to run the route and prevent separation. He does an excellent job of staying in phase and not taking false steps that allow distance to develop. Gonzalez can flip his hips and run along the sideline, and also will use his length and athleticism to close, helped by impressive recovery skills. Gonzalez can handle big receivers or speed receivers and possesses the ability to play press-man, off-man, or zone coverages. He is a very fluid mover who can run the route and prevent separation.

    Gonzalez possesses the mentality of a No. 1 corner, meaning he is comfortable playing on the island and going one-on-one with receivers. Gonzalez doesn’t need safety help and doesn’t panic when passes are coming his direction. With advanced composure and poise, Gonzalez stays calm and avoids penalties by not grabbing or getting too physical. In 2022, he showed improved ball skills, but he still needs to get better at playing the ball and tracking it downfield.

    Pro teams, however, feel Gonzalez can be inconsistent in coverage and occasionally give up some plays that he shouldn’t given his amazing skill set. That was seen in touchdowns he gave up against Washington and Arizona. among others. Team sources wonder how much “dog” Gonzalez has in him. They feel he is too casual at times. They also question how he competes and finishes. The lack of dog could be seen in Gonzalez getting pushed around somewhat by the Georgia players while getting blocked. Sources did not like that Gonzalez did not seem to be willing to fight back with some extra shoves and scrapping. Thus, team sources feel he needs to show more fight for the pro level, but if Gonzalez gets a little bit better, he could be a special man-cover corner.

    Gonzalez has the skill set and ability to be a No. 1 corner for the next level, and he could end up being one of the top cover corners in the league. However, Gonzalez has to stay show more fight, competitiveness, and get more consistent with not allowing plays that he shouldn’t.

    Player Comparison: Aqib Talib. Gonzalez reminds me of Talib in terms of being big, long, fast, athletic, and a willing tackler. Talib had better ball skills coming out of Kansas, while Gonzalez is more disciplined and not as much of a gambler as Talib. Like Talib did, Gonzalez has issues with consistency.


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