Friday, March 1, 2024

NFL Draft Odds Favor Christian Gonzalez of Oregon to Be First CB Drafted

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NFL Draft prospect Christian Gonzalez making an interception

Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez (0) hauls in an interception as the No. 9 Oregon Ducks take on the No. 21 Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore. on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.

Ncaa Football Uo Vs Osu Rivalry Game University Of Oregon At Oregon State

  • Christian Gonzalez of the Oregon Ducks is the odds-on -220 favorite to be the first cornerback selected in the 2023 NFL Draft
  • Devon Witherspoon (+300) and Joey Porter Jr (+750) are the only other CB with betting lines shorter than +1000
  • Two CB have come off the board during the first nine picks in each of the last three NFL Drafts

Good cornerbacks are hard to find, so that’s why when good ones are available, NFL teams don’t hesitate to draft them.

In two of the last three drafts, a cornerback has been taken third overall. through each of the past three draft selections, a pair of corners were cornered within the first nine picks.

NFL Draft Odds First Cornerback

Players (School) Odds
Christian Gonzalez (Oregon) -220
Devon Witherspoon (Illinois) +300
Joey Porter Jr (Penn State) +275
Brian Branch (Alabama) +1000
Cameron Smith (South Carolina) +2000
Kelee Ringo (Georgia) +3000
Deonte Banks (Maryland) +4000
Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State) +4000
Clark Phillips III (Utah) +4000
Eli Ricks (Alabama) +4000
Kyu Blue Kelly (Stanford) +5000
Garrett Williams (Syracuse) +5000
Julius Brents (Kansas State) +5000
DJ Turner (Michigan) +5000
Tre-vius Hodges-Tomlinson (TCU) +5000
Tyrique Stevenson (Miami) +5000
Jaylon Jones (Texas A&M) +5000
Alex Austin (Oregon State) +5000

Oddsmakers are setting Christian Gonzalez of the Oregon Ducks as the -220 odds-on favorite in the NFL Draft odds to be the first CB chosen on draft day. Devon Witherspoon of Illinois (+300) and Joey Porter Jr of Penn State (+750) are also given odds shorter than +1000 of being the first CB called.

It appears to be a deep year for cornerbacks in this year’s NFL Draft. Some mock drafts are projecting there to be as many as six CB selections through the first round.

However, unlike the oddsmakers, these mock drafters are all over the board in the order of selection for these corners. If their projections are proven correct, there could be value to be had here. Odds as of March 9 at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Gonzalez Raw But Massively Skilled

There are always those players who simply go off in impressive fashion at the NFL Combine. This year, Gonzalez was one of those guys. According to Next Gen stats, he graded out with a draft score of 92. That’s the highest number attained by any player at the combine.

Gonzalez ran the 40 in 4.38 seconds. His vertical leap was 41.5 inches and his broad jump was 11 feet, one inch.

NFL teams that were already impressed by the raw talent that Gonzalez possesses are now even more confident that he’s a budding star at one of the most difficult positions to play on the field.

Witherspoon May Be Most NFL-Ready CB

Witherspoon is like a comfortable pair of shoes. You put him on the field and don’t have to worry about him. He displays great vision and he thinks the game well. Some mock drafts list him as the first CB off the board.

However, a hamstring injury was preventing Witherspoon from displaying his physical tools at the NFL Combine. Will that set him back on Draft day? His size (5-11, 181 pounds) might also be working against him.

He was part of a deep defensive backfield at Illinois from which as many as three DBs could hear their name called during the NFL Draft. Witherspoon finished the season with three interceptions, 17 passes defended 41 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss.

Porter Carrying a Legendary Name

The son of the tenacious Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, Joey Porter Jr is a punishing physical player much like his dad. At 6-2 and 195 pounds, he’s got the physical tools. However, some NFL scouts worry about his quickness and ability to stay with top NFL receivers.

No mock draft is listing Porter higher than the third CB off the board. In fact, there are mock drafts placing Maryland’s Deonte Banks ahead of Porter in the draft order. According to, Banks’ 98 athleticism rating at the NFL Combine was the highest of any DB.

Is There Value In Any Other CB?

It’s very tempting to take the price on Witherspoon, who is projecting to be a solid, reliable NFL CB and someone a team can slot in immediately as a starter. However, the tools in the kit that Gonzalez brings to the field are off the charts.

He could prove to be a major defensive difference maker, an elite shutdown corner. After NFL teams left the sensational Sauce Gardner to go to the New Jets as the second CB chosen in last year’s draft, personnel people are going to be reluctant to overlook raw potential in a second straight draft.

Gonzalez simply offers too much upside to risk overlooking what he could become as an NFLer.

Pick: Christian Gonzalez (-220)

Sports Writer


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