Steelers Land Top Cornerback Prospect In New Mock Draft

In the many mock drafts that have been continuously dropping this offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers have often been paired with a cornerback given it is one of their biggest needs. The names mocked to the Steelers often are Joey Porter Jr., or Deonte Banks, but in a mock draft today a new corner was mocked to Pittsburgh. His name is Christian Gonzalez.

In Tom Fornelli’s new mock draft for CBS Sports, he mocked Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez to Pittsburgh at 17, despite Gonzalez normally being mocked in the top ten.

“I like Gonzalez, but do have some concerns about his playmaking ability,” wrote Fornelli. “He had four interceptions last season, but they’re the only interceptions of his career, and two came in one game against his former team Colorado (one of the worst teams in the country). That said, everything else is wonderful. He’s big, long, and not afraid to make a tackle.”

Standing at 6’1″ 197 pounds, Gonzalez has the ideal size for an NFL cornerback and can matchup with any of the top wide receivers in the NFL, something that can be especially helpful in a division that had JaMarr Chase in it.

While Gonzalez does only have four career interceptions, that doesn’t bother me as he does a good job of preventing catches and big gains, the main job of a cornerback. In his three years playing at the college level for both Oregon and Colorado, Gonzalez had four interceptions and 17 pass breakups.

At only 20-years-old, Gonzalez still has a lot of time to grow as a player and develop his ball skills. However as of right now he is doing a great job of not getting beat. Ike Taylor was a shut down cornerback in Pittsburgh for over a decade but couldn’t catch to save his life. With cornerback play the Steelers have had in the past decade the team would die for another Ike Taylor-like player.

If Gonzalez is available at 17 I expect general manager Omar Khan and head coach Mike Tomlin to hand in the Steelers draft card within a minute. If you would like to see why I am so high on Gonzalez, give this draft profile a read that Tom Mead did which breaks down why Gonzalez is such a good player.

Pittsburgh needs a cornerback early on in this years draft. It is a deep draft for cornerbacks, but if one of the best cornerback prospects falls to 17 you better believe the Steelers will scoop up Christian Gonzalez.

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