October 1, 2023


“When he will get anointed, we’d must put 24 on him.”

Christian Gonzalez has performed one hundred pc of defensive snaps to date with the Patriots. Matthew J. Lee / The Boston Globe

Christian Gonzalez has solely performed two video games within the NFL ranks.

However the Patriots’ 2023 first-round choose certain appears like he belongs as a featured cog in New England’s protection.

The 21-year-old nook hasn’t been eased into his rookie marketing campaign. Together with enjoying one hundred pc of New England’s defensive snaps this season as an out of doors nook, Gonzalez has primarily matched up in opposition to a number of the high wideouts within the league in Philadelphia’s A.J. Brown and Miami’s Tyreek Hill.

Regardless of these daunting assignments, Gonzalez is at the moment ranked third within the NFL amongst cornerbacks with a PFF grade of 82.6. 

After recording seven tackles and a sack in opposition to the Eagles in Week 1, Gonzalez allowed simply two catches for 21 yards in opposition to Hill and Jaylen Waddle in Week 2, whereas additionally snagging his first interception off a deep throw from Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa.

Amid New England’s early struggles, Christian Gonzalez has been as marketed as a budding No. 1 nook. And his spectacular begin has already caught the eye of a Patriots legend in Ty Regulation.

“Rattling it, we bought us a cornerback,” Regulation stated throughout his weekly interview on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Present” on Tuesday morning. “I’m not gonna completely anoint him simply but. However he’s on the best way to anointment. … He’s on his manner. I like what I see in Christian Gonzalez.”

With 53 profession interceptions and a bust in Canton on his resume, Regulation is an efficient choose of elite expertise within the defensive backfield.

Gonzalez was considered a blue-chip expertise popping out of Oregon on account of his athleticism, pro-ready body (6-foot-2, 205 kilos), and instincts out on the sector. However Regulation has been impressed by Gonzalez’s capacity to bodily interact with opponents, which was one of many few knocks in opposition to him popping out of faculty.

“Christian Gonzalez, man — that dude. I take a look at the little issues,” Regulation stated. “Initially he was aggressive, he wasn’t afraid, and on the interception. … He picked it off at its highest level. He didn’t sit there and look ahead to it to come back down … He went up there and did it essentially accurately.

“He did it on the highest level, giving himself an opportunity to make a play, and he did that. That’s one thing throughout the recreation that lots of people don’t do. And he’s doing that at such a younger age and being aggressive and operating with guys. He’s not afraid and I like him.”

For Regulation, the one flaw with Gonzalez’s temporary, however spectacular, tenure in Foxborough to date has been his selection in jersey quantity (No. 6).

“When he will get anointed, we’d must put 24 on him,” Regulation joked. “You consider it, each time that there was a Tremendous Bowl that was gained [by] the Patriots, there was a 24 on the market beginning [at] nook.”

Regulation gained three Tremendous Bowls in New England whereas donning the No. 24 jersey, which was later worn by just a few different standout corners in Foxborough like Darrelle Revis (Tremendous Bowl XLIX) and Stephon Gilmore (Tremendous Bowl LIII).