Ducks Star Gonzalez, Beavs Star Musgrave Projected First Round Picks in Latest NFL Mock Draft
By JUDAH NEWBY | 750 The Game
The 2023 NFL Draft could include a star from both Oregon and Oregon State in the first round.
Christian Gonzalez is widely considered a top-3 defensive back prospect in this year’s draft, and some analysts have him rated as the top prospect at the position. Gonzalez played one season at Oregon after transferring from Colorado. Despite Oregon’s struggles on defense in 2022, Gonzalez shined on his individual tape, and tested remarkably well at both the NFL Combine and his pro day in Eugene.
Luke Musgrave, meanwhile, provides a less certain but still promising case for the first round. The 6’6” tight end from Oregon State saw his junior season cut short with a leg injury suffered week two at Fresno State. But he shined at the Reese’s Senior Bowl and also tested well at the combine, and as a result has seen his draft stock rise into the first round of many mock drafts.
Lance Zierlein is a well-renowned draft analyst at NFL.com and hosts a sports talk radio show in Houston. His “3.0” Mock Draft drew buzz in football circles on Wednesday for a myriad of reasons, but here in Oregon, particular interest goes to the possible landing spots for Gonzalez and Musgrave.
For Zierlein’s 3.0 Mock, Gonzalez will be the second defensive back off the board behind Illinoi’s Devon Witherspoon, but will still go in the top-ten. Zierlein has Gonzalez going No. 8 overall to the Atlanta Falcons.
“Gonzalez is one of the most physically and athletically gifted prospects in the draft,” Zierlein said in his write-up. “The Falcons should be excited to add him to a secondary in need.”
As for Musgrave, it is hard to imagine a more exciting fit than where Zierlein has him slotted: No. 28 overall to Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Musgrave is an above-average run-blocker as a college prospect and has a ton of upside as a pass-catcher,” Zierlein writes. “Bengals QB Joe Burrow has a history, dating back to his time at LSU, of using tight ends to exploit opposing defenses.”
Musgrave, the native of Bend, Ore., is also the nephew of former Oregon Ducks great and NFL veteran Bill Musgrave. His father, Doug, also was a quarterback at Oregon.
Musgrave is trying to become the first Beaver to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2014, when Brandin Cooks went No. 20 overall to the New Orleans Saints.
There has never been an NFL Draft in which both a Duck and Beaver were taken in the first round. This draft could be the first.
For Seahawks fans, Zierlein has Seattle taking embattled Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter at No. 5 overall, and again going defense with their No. 20 overall selection with Clemson edge Myles Murphy.
Find Zierlein’s full 3.0 Mock Draft here.
The first round of the NFL Draft is Thurs., April 27th, and the selections will be carried live here on 750 The Game.