Pats Round1 Pick #17: CB Christian "The Steal" Gonzalez


Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
Manchester, N.H.
Bruce Feldman opposing coaching intel:

“Dude’s a freak. I thought he had good awareness of the ball. He was very natural at everything he did. Was impressed even at Colorado. He just got better and better and took a big jump at Oregon. In his man-technique, he’s very physical, good at squeezing guys to the sideline.”

“He’s talented with his size and movement skills. I thought he lacked some technique. He has a receiver-type body. When the ball is in the air, he transitioned well. He’s gotta lock in and be more technique-based. For him to be that big, you want him to be more physical, but he’s not soft.

“I was surprised to see that he was so high (in pre-draft media evaluations). I thought he was a late first (type). He’s big enough to play in the slot at nickel and he does have enough coverage skills outside to be intriguing. I wondered about his natural change of direction (COD). How is his short-area quickness? We didn’t have anyone who could really test him. Having that length and that straight-line speed obviously is helpful, but if you don’t have really good short-area quickness when you’re facing Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase, who are so good laterally in and out of change cuts and have more long speed … it’s getting scarier.”

“I thought he was a good player, but we did not think ‘Let’s not go at this guy.’ He played tight, got in bump-and-run, but he wasn’t one of those dominant guys, where we felt like we needed to stay away from him or motion him. He’s not Sauce Gardner. At the line of scrimmage, we thought we could beat him release-wise, and it’s not like we had a great receiving corps. He has the right measurables and the tools, you just were never wowed by the film.”

Bruce Feldman NFL DB coaches intel:

Defensive coordinator 1: “He probably has the best measurables in a corner to come out since maybe Jalen Ramsey. He’s not an absolute savage and doesn’t have that cornerback attitude, but the coaches at Oregon say he’s a no-brainer and is gonna work hard.”

Defensive backs coach 1: “I think he’s unbelievable. He’s so talented. The most ready-made guy out here. His technique is really sound.”

Defensive backs coach 2: “I’m a little fearful of his demeanor. He’s not really wired like a corner. Against his best competition, he struggled. Against Georgia, he struggled. Drake London the year before really got after him. I think he’s really good in press. The other thing about him is (that) the wide receiver appears covered all the time because he’s so big and long, and he does have great recovery speed. His judgment and winning at the top of the route isn’t as great, and you’ll see him misjudging balls a little when he’s in position. Not gonna be a physical tackler at all.”
I read this and it feels like that they're describing a cornerback style that would've been much more effective in the last generation of football but that Gonzalez might play better in the current iteration of the NFL or at least with how the Patriots play their non-elite CBs. Like, we think of "attitude DBs", I get we're thinking of the supremely confident (even in spite of their abilities) players who will lay out and celebrate anything they do that's good, or who can psych out a WR at the line, and who might even be able to physically intimidate a WR. But with how particular PI, Roughness, and Personal Foul calls are, if anything there seems to be a lot more value in knowing when to be physical and when not to be physical especially as an outside corner. I struggle to think of a situation where a Belichick defense wants to leave JJ or Chase or Hill one on one with any DB - him being very good at press would ideally take away a lot of those route types that decimated the Patriots in some games over the past two years (the short posts, slants, crossing routes) while safety top over the help would be there.

I took a look at some of those Drake London highlights here

The first long pass play - London makes an absurd catch. Gonzalez may not be draped on him but he's sticking to London and the ball is thrown a hit short with London slowing his route and making a huge extension catch. I don't know if there's a DB in football one on one who stops that play.

1-yard TD - I don't know how much more Christian Gonzalez can do on this play. He had inside position on London who did an out towards the sideline. Gonzalez was draped on him - there was a MINISCULE window to get that pass in and the QB did it and London made a very impressive one handed catch. The ball skills note maybe comes into play but Gonzalez did what a lot of Belichick DBs do - play the WR and the movements. The announcer said that drive was all London so maybe there was more.

There was another pass on a different video where Gonzalez fell down - which I think could happen to any player, but was another severely underthrown pass that London adjusted back to (and then fell trying to run). Like, this wasn't a GOOD game, but Drake London is an S-Tier college wide out and only one of those three plays (the one where he fell down) was a bad play, the others were just good offensive plays. Drake went for 9-130 (not all on Gonzalez, one play was a busted play where London was trailed by someone else) and that was still his third worst game of the year (out of 8) in receptions and yards. He probably does need to work on the ball skills and some anticipatory elements but he was sticking to Drake London like glue on the bad clips I saw. If he can do that to London, a Top 10 WR pick last year, I see reason for excitement. If he can drape a Drake London, the number of NFL WRs that will torch him shouldn't be a high number.

We will see of course, I am not anywhere near a film watcher, but if the Drake London game is the biggest demerit, I'm not terribly worried.


SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
I love that in the intel a knock is that he might not have the lateral quickness to cover Justin Jefferson and Jamar Chase as if there is a litany of DBs that can cover them. They are two of the top 5 WR by virtually any measure.


SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
Pasadena, CA
Can someone explain any of this to me?
I think he’s just literally requesting the rookie buy him chicken wings. Unless “wings” is slang for something else. And I think he just means they’re going to give him a shitty number in camp, though I would’ve gone with 68 or something. But 42 is pretty bad.


Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
I think he’s just literally requesting the rookie buy him chicken wings. Unless “wings” is slang for something else. And I think he just means they’re going to give him a shitty number in camp, though I would’ve gone with 68 or something. But 42 is pretty bad.
42 is JJ Taylor.


SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
I think he’s just literally requesting the rookie buy him chicken wings. Unless “wings” is slang for something else. And I think he just means they’re going to give him a shitty number in camp, though I would’ve gone with 68 or something. But 42 is pretty bad.
Yep it's rookie hazing...
1. Get ready to buy the defensive vets some food with that $
2. 42 is an ugly ass number, rookies get ugly numbers until they earn the sexy ones


SoSH Member
Feb 26, 2017
I always find it interesting to unwind all of Belichick’s trades and think about how we would think about a straight up deal.

It sure seems like that the Pats were ready to take Gonzalez at #14 so they didn’t really give up anything there and then they were obviously able to pick up a fourth rounder. When you factor in that they then traded that fourth rounder in a deal to move up for Ryland it involved the Stidham trade to the Raiders.

So the net deal looks like the following;

Patriots Traded
Jarret Stidham
#231 (7th round)

Patriots Received
Christian Gonzalez
Chad Ryland

Individual Trades
Pats Trade: #14
Pats Receive: #17 & #120

Pats Trade: #120 & #184
Pats Receive: #112 (Chad Ryland)

Pats Trade: Jarret Stidham & #231
Pats Receive: #184

Sure seems like Stidham and a 7th rounder for the second ranked kicker in the draft seems like a decent haul.