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Adrian Klemm shares his intel on Patriots first-round pick Christian Gonzalez: ‘A guy that made big plays, continuously’

Klemm and Gonzalez spent the 2022 season at Oregon together.

Eastern Washington v Oregon Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

The New England Patriots had some inside information about Christian Gonzalez entering the 2023 NFL Draft. Recently-hired offensive line coach Adrian Klemm and the young cornerback spent last season together at the University of Oregon.

While they worked on different sides of the ball, Klemm still got a close look at Gonzalez’s potential and big-play ability.

“He came in the same time I did, with the transfer and everything,” Klemm told reporters at Gillette Stadium on Friday. “He was a big playmaker for us so I was always aware of him. He was one of our better players — the best player on our team probably.”

Klemm and Gonzalez both arrived at Oregon after the 2021 season. While the veteran coach joined the team of new head coach Dan Lanning from the Pittsburgh Steelers, the defender was a transfer from Colorado.

The decision to continue his career with the Ducks turned out to be a good one, for both sides. Gonzalez delivered the best season of his college career — starting 12 games, he registered four interceptions and was named first-team All-Big 12 — while the team was able to receive some standout play at the cornerback position.

“He’s just a guy that made big plays, continuously,” Klemm recalled. “When we needed plays to be made at Oregon, he was the guy that was making those plays — and he made them routinely. He was somebody that we could count on, and that’s expected to be the same here, even more elevated with the addition of coaching.”

Klemm’s focus at Oregon was on his own position group, but he couldn’t help but also notice Gonzalez.

His playmaking ability and consistent performance as a starting cornerback was only part of the appeal. He also brought leadership and a professional business-first attitude to the team.

“He’s a natural leader,” said Klemm. “He’s a guy that doesn’t say much but just is a leader by his play. Strong character kid. He wasn’t in my group but he was someone I noticed just because the way he practiced everyday and just the mentality that he had. He’s just all about his business.”

In part thanks to Klemm’s intel, the Patriots invested the 17th overall pick in the draft in Gonzalez. The expectation is that the rookie will take over a prominent role in the team’s defense right away.