Name: Christian Gonzalez
Ht/Wt: 6-1, 197
40-yard dash: 4.38
Bench: 14 reps
Vertical: 41.5 inches
3-cone: Did not run
20-yard shuttle: Did not run
View photos of NFL prospect Christian Gonzalez.
How he fits: Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes had a plan to improve the talent level and depth in the secondary in free agency, and he executed that plan nicely with the signing of veteran cornerbacks Cam Sutton, C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley.
Those additions, coupled with the return of Jeff Okudah, Jerry Jacobs and Will Harris, and Detroit is all set at cornerback, right? Not so fast.
We shouldn't lose track of the fact that Gardner-Johnson and Moseley were both signed to one-year deals only. If the Lions don't pick up the fifth-year option of Okudah's rookie contract by May's deadline, he'll be on the final year of his rookie deal too. Let's also not forget the cornerback position is the most often injured in the NFL. There's definitely room to add another talented, young cornerback to this roster.
Gonzalez is a big-bodied, long-armed cornerback with terrific athleticism and impressive tape. This past year, he tallied four interceptions and nine forced incompletions for the Ducks. He's also a good tackler, which is a prerequisite to play for head coach Dan Campbell, missing only six percent of his tackles in 2022, according to Pro Football Focus.
Key observations: Talk about an explosive athlete, Gonzalez's 4.38-second 40-yard dash places in the 89th percentile among cornerbacks in PFF's database, his 41.5-inch vertical ranks in the 97th percentile and his 11-foot-1 broad jump is in the 96th percentile.
What they had to say about him: "My No. 9 prospect back in August, Christian Gonzalez lived up to those lofty expectations and is one of the best non-quarterbacks in this draft class. He is long and athletic, can run and showed improved ball skills this past season. With his traits, Gonzalez should be an immediate starter as an NFL rookie." - Dane Brugler, The Athletic
How he stacks up: Gonzalez has moved up to Brugler's No. 5 overall prospect in this draft following the NFL Scouting Combine and is his top cornerback.
He comes in at No. 13 in Daniel Jeremiah's most recent list of the Top 50 players available in the class. NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks lists Gonzalez as the No. 2 cornerback available in this draft behind Illinois' Devon Witherspoon.
ESPN's Matt Miller also considers Gonzalez the No. 2 cornerback in the draft behind Witherspoon after writing on the Top 11 cornerbacks in the draft and where they would fit best in the NFL.
What he had to say: "I'm a long, speedy, versatile corner, you know. Someone that can line up on the outside and guard a 6-5 receiver and line up inside and guard a 5-10 speedy type of receiver," Gonzalez said at the Combine. "Being able to be a smart player, learn very quickly. Being able to change to any type of what (type of receiver) I'm going against."