Christian Gonzalez, a native of The Colony, Texas, started his collegiate career at the University of Colorado before eventually landing at the University of Oregon. As a High School prospect, Gonzalez showed his immense athleticism and speed as a 4-star recruit. Christian also ran track and field at his high school and ran a personal best time of 21.6 in 200-meter dash in the Texas State Championships.
During his final year at Oregon before declaring for the NFL draft, Gonzalez earned many honors, including being named to the Coaches Pac-12 All-Conference first team. We are taking an in-depth look at Christian Gonzalez and why the Falcons could be interested in him despite all their depth at cornerback.
Player Height/Weight: 6’1” – 197 lbs
Games Watched: vs. UCLA (2022), at Colorado (2022), at Oregon St (2022)
- Ideal size with top-notch speed and athleticism
- Highly competitive and passionate
- Incredibly fluid hips and balanced footwork
- Surprising short area quickness for his size with good change of direction
- Good length and initial punch to press at the line of scrimmage
- Instinctively pushes receivers to the boundary on 9 routes
- Good instincts in press and off man
- Good click and close ability
- Shows patience to stay in phase on the wide receiver’s route stem
- Good instincts in the box and takes good angles in pursuit in the running game
- Shows great recovery speed if trailing
- Could stand to get stronger at the point of attack against the more physical receivers
- Needs to work on ball tracking and getting his head around down field
- While showing improvement, needs to continue to work on ball skills
- Needs to get better with route recognition
Christian Gonzalez is a supremely talented young corner that has the physical tools to be CB1 in the NFL. He has legitimate speed and is incredibly explosive, but he will definitely need to get stronger at the next level to realize his full potential.
While the Falcons have made some very solid moves at CB this offseason with the acquisitions of former first round picks Mike Hughes and Jeff Okudah, Terry Fontenot could opt to continue to add to the room at eighth overall with the selection of Gonzalez, should he be there. If you’re thinking big picture in this scenario, Okudah has been acquired, but he only has one year left on his rookie deal. Also, even though Mike Hughes has been signed to a two-year deal, the team basically has an opt out in the second year of his deal.
Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith are in a very advantageous position to turn the back end of the Falcons’ defense into a true strength for the next few seasons, and the addition of Christian Gonzalez would go a long way into accomplishing just that.