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2023 NFL mock draft: Las Vegas Raiders select cornerback Christian Gonzalez

In our 2023 NFL Community Mock Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders have selected cornerback Christian Gonzalez to help fortify a flailing pass defense.

Oregon v Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Now that we’re beyond the Detroit Lions’ pick in our 2023 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, we’re wading into unfamiliar territory.

The Las Vegas Raiders have been waiting patiently, and while they may be more aggressive on draft night, we did not allow trades in this mock draft. They’ve had to sit and watch the following six players come off the board:

No. 1: Carolina Panthers, Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
No. 2: Houston Texans, C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
No. 3: Arizona Cardinals, Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
No. 4: Indianapolis Colts, Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
No. 5: Seattle Seahawks, Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
No. 6: Detroit Lions, Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

If you’re not aware of how our Community Mock Draft works, we have allowed 28 different commenters here to act as general manager for a team (Erik Schlitt is the Lions GM and three teams don’t have a first or second-round pick). This year’s Raiders general manager is Popcornstadium.

With the seventh overall pick in the 2023 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders have selected Christian Gonzalez, cornerback out of Oregon.

Here’s Popcornstadium justifying the pick:

“The Raiders had the second-worst pass defense in the league by DVOA last year and Gonzalez is a fantastic starting point for a cornerback group in need of a complete overhaul. Let’s start with the important stuff: Gonzalez was fantastic in coverage in 2022. He was a First Team All-Pac-12 corner, earned an impressive 83.3 PFF grade, and held opposing QBs to a 74.7 QB rating when targeting him.

“Gonzalez has an ideal frame for an outside corner, coupled with impressive explosiveness (adding up to a 9.95 RAS score with the caveat that he skipped agility drills). The combine numbers line up perfectly with what Gonzalez shows on the field. He’s an extremely fluid, smooth runner whether he’s running with a receiver in man or dropping into a zone. The Raiders will likely use him more for the latter in their Cover 3-heavy scheme, but defensive coordinator Patrick Graham likes to emphasize versatility in his defensive backfield and will make use of Gonzalez’s well-rounded skill set.

“Gonzalez will likely need to continue improving his ball skills, as all four of his career interceptions came in his final college season, but the trend is up in that department. There are also some concerns about his hand usage leading to penalties in the NFL, though it’s worth noting that he was only penalized nine times in college with just two coming in 2022.

“The only other player receiving serious consideration here was Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson. Wilson, however, is an older prospect with marginally less upside and some foot injury concerns. The Raiders had no interest in Will Levis here, as Josh McDaniels is content working with a familiar veteran in Jimmy Garoppolo.”


Now it’s time for you to sound off. Was this the right pick? Would you have made a different one? Vote in the poll below and then scroll down to the comment section to offer your thoughts.

Poll

What grade do you give the Raiders’ selection of Christian Gonzalez?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    A
    (279 votes)
  • 35%
    B
    (209 votes)
  • 10%
    C
    (64 votes)
  • 2%
    D
    (13 votes)
  • 3%
    F
    (23 votes)
588 votes total Vote Now

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