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Vikings rookies under-the-radar: Chris Gonzalez

With Pat Elflein on the PUP list, that will give some of the younger linemen a chance to prove themselves.

NCAA Football: San Jose State at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

I was listening to good ole KFAN yesterday morning and they brought up an interesting point about how because of Elflein’s injury and the limited participation he will see at camp and in the preseason, then it could be a good shot for lineman Colby Gossett to step up. I thought to myself, “boom, perfect!” let’s write about an offensive lineman.

My choice was going to be Gossett, but I noticed our site had already produced an article about him when he was drafted in April. I didn’t want to duplicate, so I decided to dig a little deeper.

Pay some attention to Chris Gonzalez, the 6-foot-3, 310-pound offensive guard from San Jose State. Gonzalez participated in 44 games throughout his career as a Spartan. He was the starting right guard for three straight seasons, talk about being consistent and healthy.

It seemed like Gonzalez was quite the student-athlete at SJSU. He was a four-time Mountain West All-Academic and a two-time Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award recipient. The award honors undergraduate students who excelled in the classroom as well as on the field.

Last season, Gonzalez was an All-Mountain West honorable mention. He was the only starter on the Spartan offense to start all 13 games. Now, I’m not sure exactly how to evaluate an offensive lineman. But, here are some nuggets that I tried to gather to give some insight:

Gonzalez was a part of an offensive line that averaged almost three sacks a game. It’s unclear how many were at the fault of Gonzalez. He was also a part of the line that helped the Spartan rush game average 120 yards a game.

I wasn’t able to find a video of the kid other than when he was in high school. However, he does seem like someone who is agile and versatile. He has played some tight end in his career and participated on special teams. That’s a plus for someone trying to make the active 53-man roster, right?

At SJSU’s pro day Gonzalez participated in all the events, but the bench press and the 60-yard shuttle. He recorded a 5.44 40-yard dash and an eight second three-cone drill. If he was at the NFL Combine and did that then he would be ranked 6th among linemen in both categories. His 4.84 20-yard shuttle would have put him somewhere in the middle of his counterparts.

Compared to the other guards, Gonzalez is similar in height and weight. The only outlier is Gossett, who is 6-foot-6 and 322 pounds. It will be curious to see how he develops and if he will be able to add depth in the trenches for the Vikes in the future.