The 2023 NFL draft is still months away, but it’s never too early to project how the first round might unfold. In this mock draft, we’ll assume that the draft order is based on the current standings, and that no trades are made.
Of course, a lot can change between now and April, but this is a fun exercise to see how teams might address their needs and who might be the best available players at each spot.
With the 18th pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Las Vegas Raiders select Christian Gonzalez, cornerback from Colorado.
The Raiders have been struggling on defense for years, and they need to upgrade their secondary. They have some promising young safeties in Jonathan Abram and Trevon Moehrig, but they lack a true shutdown corner who can match up with the elite receivers in the AFC West. Gonzalez could be that guy.
Gonzalez is a physical and athletic corner who excels in press-man coverage. He has good size (6’1″, 200 lbs) and speed (4.45 40-yard dash) to handle any type of receiver.
He is also a willing tackler and a leader on the field. He had a breakout season in 2022, recording 45 tackles, four interceptions and 12 pass breakups for the Buffaloes.
Gonzalez has some areas to improve, such as his ball skills and his consistency. He sometimes gets too aggressive and gives up big plays. He also needs to refine his technique and footwork. However, he has a high ceiling and a lot of potential to become a star in the NFL.
The Raiders would benefit from adding Gonzalez to their defense. He would instantly upgrade their cornerback group and give them a playmaker who can create turnovers and shut down opposing receivers.
He would also fit well with their defensive scheme and culture. Gonzalez is a hard-working and competitive player who loves the game and plays with passion.
Gonzalez is one of the best cornerbacks in this draft class, and he would be a great pick for the Raiders at 18. He has the tools and the traits to be a difference-maker in the NFL.
Final Thoughts: Las Vegas Raiders Should Draft Christian Gonzalez
The Las Vegas Raiders have been struggling on defense for years, and one of their biggest issues has been their secondary. In this mock draft, they address that need by selecting Christian Gonzalez, a talented cornerback from Colorado.
Gonzalez has the physical tools and athleticism to be a shutdown corner in the NFL. He is a physical player who excels in press-man coverage and has the size and speed to handle any type of receiver. He also has a great work ethic and leadership skills that make him a valuable addition to any team.
Although he has some areas to improve, such as his ball skills and consistency, Gonzalez has a high ceiling and a lot of potential to become a star in the NFL.
The Raiders would benefit greatly from his addition to their defense, as he would give them a much-needed playmaker who can create turnovers and shut down opposing receivers.
Overall, selecting Christian Gonzalez in the first round would be a smart move for the Raiders. He has the talent and the intangibles to become a difference-maker in the NFL, and he would be a great fit for their defensive scheme and culture.
If the Raiders want to compete in the tough AFC West, they need to address their defense, and Gonzalez would be a step in the right direction.