The NFL has taken notice of Christian Gonzalez’ excellent start to his rookie year
New England Patriots rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez has gotten off to an excellent start this season. It’s not just a thought Patriots fans have – the league has taken notice of what he’s done the first three games.
On Thursday, the NFL named Gonzalez the Defensive Rookie of the Month for the month of September. Gonzalez is the first Patriots player to win an NFL Rookie of the Month award since quarterback Mac Jones did so in November of 2021, and the first Patriot to win Defensive Rookie of the Month since Chandler Jones in September 2012.
Gonzalez, who was drafted 17th overall by the Patriots in this year’s NFL Draft out of Oregon, has faced star wide receivers in all three of his first three NFL games, taking on A.J. Brown of the Eagles, Tyreek Hill of the Dolphins, and reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson of the Jets. In those three games Gonzalez has allowed just 15 catches on 22 targets, for 148 yards. He has one interceptions and two pass breakups, and has yet to allow a touchdown. He’s also recorded a sack. We broke down Gonzalez strong start earlier this week here.
Off his start, Gonzalez is PFF’s highest-graded rookie through three games. He’s also the fifth-highest-graded cornerback in the league to this point.
This all comes as the Patriots have had to lean heavily on Gonzalez in a key role to start the season. The team has already placed two of its top cornerbacks on IR in Jack Jones and Marcus Jones, and while Jonathan Jones hasn’t been placed on IR he’s missed the last two games due to injury.
The Patriots will look to Gonzalez to build on his performance this Sunday, when he faces another tough test in CeeDee Lamb with the Patriots visiting the Cowboys. Kickoff is at 4:25 p.m. ET, with pregame coverage beginning at 1:30 on 98.5 The Sports and the Patriots Radio Network.