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Is Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez a First Round Lock After the NFL Combine?

Christian Gonzalez was a standout performer among defensive backs during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
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Heading into the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, all eyes were on cornerback Christian Gonzalez

The former Oregon Duck transferred from Boulder to Eugene to reunite with cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin and locked down his side of the field as one of the top defenders in the Pac-12. 

His physical tools and skills stood out on tape, but there was still one big question surrounding his game: How would he test at the combine?

Well, Gonzalez answered that question and put all doubts to rest, turning in one of the most impressive performances at the combine regardless of position. 

2023 Combine performance and measurements 

  • Height: 6'1"
  • Weight: 197 pounds
  • Arms: 32"
  • Hand: 9 1/2"
  • 40-yard dash: 4.38
  • 10-yard split: 1.54 
  • Vertical: 41.5"
  • Broad jump: 11'1"
  • Bench press: 14 reps

Following the NFL Combine ESPN's Todd McShay released his updated mock draft and had the Detroit Lions selected Gonzalez with the No. 7 overall pick. 

Here's what McShay had to say about the pick and Gonzalez as a prospect:

"I know I keep using the 6.2 yards allowed per play number for the Lions, but it was the NFL's sixth-worst number for the past decade. Armed with a pair of first-rounders and a chunk of cap space, Detroit has to get better on that side of the ball. It has gotten up-and-down production from Jeff Okudah, the team's top-three pick in 2020, and the other corner spot is open with Amai Oruwariye primed to be a free agent next week. 

"At 6-1 and 197 pounds, Gonzalez confirmed the speed and explosion we saw on tape during the combine. He posted a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash and jumped 41.5 inches in the vertical and 11-foot-1 in the broad. And with four interceptions in 2022, he can make plays on the ball."

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Gonzalez may have only spent one season with the Ducks, but it was an impactful one. Furthermore, his selection in the NFL Draft with be another feather in the cap for Demetrice Martin, who continues to solidify himself as one of the best developers of defensive back talent in the country. 

The Ducks have a number of talented defensive backs in the NFL including Jevon Holland (Miami Dolphins), Deommodore Lenoir (San Fransisco 49ers), Thomas Graham Jr. (Cleveland Browns) and Troy Hill (Los Angeles Rams). 

Oregon hasn't had a cornerback taken in the first round of the draft since Alex Molden in 1996 and Gonzalez has done all the right things to break the 27-year drought. 

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