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The New England Patriots are on the doorstep of a pivotal NFL Draft in the coming weeks where they hold the third overall pick. The franchise will hope to carry the momentum of the success it had a year ago, particularly in the first round where it selected Christian Gonzalez, who'll look a bit different as he heads into his sophomore campaign. 

New England announced on social media Tuesday that the promising young corner will now don No. 0, switching from No. 6 that he wore during his rookie season. 

This marks the first time in team history a player will wear No. 0 after the NFL first approved the proposal to include the number last offseason. Given that Gonzalez wore No. 0 while he was at Oregon, there was some wonder if he'd carry it over into the pros. At training camp, Gonzalez wore No. 50, which was customary for first-round rookies under former head coach Bill Belichick in recent seasons. Once the team handed out its actual rookie numbers, however, it was a bit surprising to see Gonzalez slotted with No. 6 considering his link to No. 0 during his collegiate career, but he's now going back to his roots with this latest switch. 

Regardless of his number, Gonzalez did flash in his limited action in 2023. In four games (all starts), he posted three pass breakups, an interception, a sack and had 17 tackles. However, Gonzalez's season was cut short due to a torn labrum and dislocated shoulder in the club's October matchup against the Dallas Cowboys

As he returns to full form, New England's secondary will lean on Gonzalez to continue his development into what appeared to be the makings of a top-flight corner.