FOXBORO, Mass. — Christian Gonzalez doesn’t have a full NFL season under his belt, but the 21-year-old’s talent vaulted him into a new role for the New England Patriots this season.

The second-year cornerback flashed his talent as a shutdown cornerback in four games last season and looked to be a steal at No. 17 in the 2023 NFL Draft. But Gonzalez’s rookie season was cut short due to a torn labrum.

Gonzalez enters his second season likely as the No. 1 cornerback on New England’s depth chart, and it might be why his teammates are trying to get insight into his play.

“I don’t really look at it like that, but if they do, of course, I love to help my teammates, ask questions, let them know I’m there,” Gonzalez said. “I only played four games. I still went out there and do what I do. I love when they come up and ask me questions because that gets me better trying to explain what I see and put it into words not just doing it on the field.”

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Alex Austin was a standout player for the Patriots in the final stretch of last season, and Isaiah Bolden was an intriguing prospect. It might not be a surprise then to see them and Gonzalez forming a tight bond as the potential future of the New England defensive back room.

“We’re always together,” Gonzalez said of his relationship with Austin and Bolden. “It’s kind of like a whole little brothership. The whole DB room, we all come together but especially the Year 2 players. We’re kind of just bonding off the field so we can come in here and work, and grind, and just enjoy it and have fun. We can push each other and learn how to help each other.”

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While all eyes are on the offense, it might not be long until Gonzalez starts making a name for himself and starts to earn buzz for the New England defense.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images