Oregon Ducks DB Christian Gonzalez selected by New England Patriots No. 17 overall in NFL Draft


The wait was longer than expected, but Oregon Ducks cornerback Christian Gonzalez was taken in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft after all, with the New England Patriots selecting him with the seventeenth overall pick.

Considered a top-ten pick by most mock drafts, Gonzalez saw two cornerbacks taken before him. The Seahawks picked Devon Witherspoon from Illinois at No. 5 overall, and the Washington Commanders opted for the 165-lb Emmanuel Forbes out of Mississippi State at No. 16 overall.

The Patriots, who originally had the No. 14 pick before trading back three spots with Pittsburgh, then jumped on Gonzalez at 17.

Gonzalez told New England media he was “a little bit” surprised he was available with the seventeenth pick, but added “it all happens for a reason. God has a plan.”

As for what it means to be drafted by Bill Belichick, Gonzalez said “I’m very excited to play under him. You can’t really get a better coach than that. So I’m just excited to learn and go in there and just compete.”

In his lone season at Oregon, Gonzalez put on impressive film and tallied four interceptions. He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection on defense. Gonzalez tested very well among cornerbacks at the combine and performed well at his pro day.

Gonzalez becomes the fourth straight Oregon Ducks prospect to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. Justin Herbert went No. 6 overall to the Chargers in 2020, Penei Sewell went No. 7 to the Lions in 2021, Kayvon Thibodeaux went No. 5 overall to the Giants in 2022, and now Gonzalez joins them at No. 17 to the Patriots.

Catch John Canzano’s reaction on Friday’s Bald Faced Truth, afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.