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NFL Draft 2023: Instant grade for the Patriots’ first-round selection, CB Christian Gonzalez

New England has made its first pick in the draft.

Utah v Oregon Photo by Ali Gradischer/Getty Images

The New England Patriots moved down once in the 2023 NFL Draft, going from No. 14 overall to No. 17 overall. However, that did not stop them from getting one of the top players at a definitive position of need: Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez.

Needless to say, they are receiving a pretty good grade for the pick.

1-17 CB Christian Gonzalez (Oregon)

Bernd Buchmasser: Getting Gonzalez with the 17th pick has to be considered one of the steals of the draft so far. Just look at it this way: he was ranked as the seventh-best player on the consensus board, and widely regarded as a likely top-10 pick. And yet, here New England comes in to pick him up well below his expected range — all while addressing a major need on its roster. | Grade: A+

Brian Hines: The Patriots trade back and still get a top-10 talent and our top-ranked cornerback at No. 17. Gonzalez is a silky smooth athlete which helps him smoother receivers in man-to-man. At 6-foot-1, he’s exactly what New England’s secondary needed. | Grade: A++

With Gonzalez aboard, the Patriots still have 11 selections in hand following their Round 1 trade-down. They are likely not done addressing their needs.

How would you grade the selection, though? Let us know below!