The New England Patriots are 0-2 to begin the 2023 NFL season, but there are a few positive storylines amid the defeats.
One of them is the performance of rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez.
The 2023 first-round pick has played quite well over the first two games of his career, and his finest outing came in Sunday night's 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.
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Gonzalez, who played 100 percent of New England's defensive snaps for the second consecutive week, allowed just three catches for 32 yards with one pass breakup and an interception.
He also tallied his first career interception in the fourth quarter with a fantastic leaping grab.
Gonzalez' effort earned him a 91.6 pass coverage grade in Week 2 from Pro Football Focus. He's also PFF's third-highest graded cornerback in the entire league through two weeks.
Many of the Patriots' most successful teams had a legit No. 1 cornerback who played at a high level on a weekly basis. Names like Ty Law, Stephon Gilmore and Asante Samuel immediately come to mind. Other high-level cornerbacks who played briefly in New England over the last 10 years include Aqib Talib and Darrelle Revis.
Today's NFL is full of elite wide receivers. Speed and pass-catching ability is everywhere, making the need to have a top-tier cornerback so important for success. Gonzalez is still super early in his pro career, but so far, he appears to have all the talent and the temperament required to be a fantastic cornerback for many years.