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Patriots Analysis

Patritos Roster Breakdown: Christian Gonzalez, Future Star



New England Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez

There are expected to be a lot of changes in the New England Patriots locker room before the 2024 season gets underway. The coaching staff has already seen significant turnover, most notably with Jerod Mayo replacing Bill Belichick as head coach. But what will the New England roster look like in the fall? Some of that will be determined by players not currently on the team. The NFL Draft and free agency will both bring new faces to Foxboro. But what about the players from 2023? Patriots Football Now will break down all potential 2024 roster players in “Patriots Roster Breakdown” before Week 1 arrives in September.

Today’s Patriots Roster Breakdown featured player is Christian Gonzalez.

Christian Gonzalez

The New England Patriots selected Christian Gonzalez in the first round (No. 17 overall) of the 2023 NFL Draft. Gonzalez was the No. 7 ranked prospect on my draft board and was still available when the Patriots picked at No. 14. But New England opted to trade down three spots. Fortunately for New England, Gonzalez was still available. The Washington Commanders opted for Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes at No. 16.

Gonzalez was a Week 1 starter for the Patriots in 2023. On a struggling team, he was a bright spot. Through four games Gonzalez recorded 17 tackles (14 solo), a sack, and an interception. His performance earned him NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month.

Unfortunately, those four games amount to Gonzalez’s total playing time in 2023. In the fourth game of the season, Christian Gonzalez suffered a torn labrum. He remained sidelined for the duration of the 2023 season.

Pro Football Focus gave Gonzalez an 80.8 defensive grade for his rookie season. He ranked thirteenth in the NFL of every cornerback to play at least 200 defensive snaps.

Contract Status

Christian Gonzalez still has three years remaining on his rookie contract.

Cornerback Group

The New England Patriots have seven cornerbacks under contract for 2024. The group includes Christian Gonzalez, Jonathan Jones, Shaun Wade, Marco Wilson, Marcus Jones, Alex Austin, and Isaiah Bolden. Gonzalez, Marcus Jones, and Bolden are all returning from season-ending injuries in 2024. Jonathan Jones is a steady veteran. Wilson was claimed off waivers in December and will be a player to watch in training camp. Austin surpassed expectations after getting promoted from the practice squad.

The Patriots may bring in another veteran cornerback. Familiar faces Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, and Myles Bryant all remain available in free agency. It would not be surprising to see them grab a corner in the NFL Draft either. With injuries depleting this unit in 2023, depth will be a focal point heading into camp.

Outlook for Christian Gonzalez

As long as he is healthy, Christian Gonzalez is CB1 for the foreseeable future in Foxboro.

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