2023 mock NFL Draft 3.0: Final 11th-hour edition (with trades)
Pick No. 11: Arizona Cardinals (via Tennessee) – Christian Gonzalez, Cornerback, Oregon
Mock Draft 1.0: Peter Skoronski, Offensive Tackle, Northwestern (Tennessee Titans)
Mock Draft 2.0: Quentin Johnston, Wide Receiver, TCU (Tennessee Titans)
Trading back would be such a smart move for Arizona. Not only could they take advantage of a desperate franchise seeking a quarterback, but this would be the perfect place for them to fill their biggest need at cornerback.
The super-talented Byron Murphy is gone and the team needed to upgrade the position even before that. Here they get the pick of the bunch, which I believe will be Christian Gonzalez.
An excellent prospect who can excel especially in man coverage, Gonzalez has the physical attributes of a shutdown cornerback with excellent size (6-foot-2, 201 pounds) and the speed to run with fast receivers. Gonzalez had four interceptions and seven passes defended in 2022 for the Oregon Ducks after transferring from Colorado.
Gonzalez isn’t quite on the level of the 2022 elite cornerback prospects in Derek Stingley or Sauce Gardner however. There have been times in his tape where he was inconsistent and lost his man, but there’s no doubt he has an excellent ceiling as a prospect.