WATCH: Colombian Player Selected in NFL Draft Flashes Flag in Unexpected Way
The 2023 NFL draft started on Thursday night (April 27) in Kansas City, and the first round was full of excitement and anticipation from NFL teams, fans, and the players’ families hoping to hear their names called.
Christian Gonzalez, a cornerback from the University of Oregon, was just one of the many players in the NFL draft hoping to hear his name called early in the first round by an NFL team. He got his wish, as the New England Patriots selected him 17th overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft.
Gonzalez is looking to make an impact immediately in the NFL. As a prospect at the NFL Combine, he was given a grade of 6.70. By NFL grading templates it labels him as a player who will be a “Good NFL starter with Pro Bowl potential.” In fact, many believe his selection at number 17 was even higher than it should have been.
In a press conference after his selection, Gonzalez was asked about how he felt going to play for the Patriots. “I’m just extremely blessed to be able to talk to them, be able to come in today and just enjoy it with my family. I’m just excited to get up there.”
After his name was called, Gonzalez revealed that his white suit was hiding the colors of the Colombian flag (yellow, blue, and red) on the inside. When asked about his sartorial choice, Gonzalez expressed pride in his Colombian heritage and a desire to be a role model to Latine children.
“I wore it because I’m Colombian,” Gonzalez said. “My dad was born in Colombia. He moved to America to play basketball when he was 18. It took some planning, yeah. It means the world to me. To just be able to put it on for South America. They don’t really play football over there. So having little kids know they can do what they want if they set their mind to it. So just want to be able to let them know they have somebody to look up to.”
Christian Gonzalez will have no problem being a source of pride for Colombians and Latine people everywhere. A first-round selection and playing as a cornerback for the Patriots in a tough AFC East division brings him center stage for all to see.