Film Room: Matt Goncalves Solidifies Colts’ Offensive Line Depth

Matt Goncalves brings depth at multiple positions on the offensive line for the Indianapolis Colts, and could even be a starter down the line.
Pittsburgh Panthers offensive lineman Matt Goncalves (76).
Pittsburgh Panthers offensive lineman Matt Goncalves (76). / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The Indianapolis Colts selected Pittsburgh offensive lineman Matt Goncalves with the 79th overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. Goncalves, 23, is a two year starter in college with experience playing both left and right tackle. He missed a majority of last season due to injury, but should be ready for the start of camp for the Colts. 

This pick may seem like a slight reach at this point of the draft, but the five position versatility that Goncalves brings should be a valuable asset to a team that dealt with constant injuries up front last season. Goncalves’ potential to fill in across the line will ultimately make the Colts better for the 2024 season (and beyond). 

The Film is Promising 

Goncalves’ name caught fire late in the draft process, as teams began to fall in love with his potential after talking with him in interviews and meetings. The savvy veteran tackle allowed just three sacks in his collegiate career across 939 career snaps, so there was some production on film to point to as justification for this pick. 

One of the highlights of Goncalves’ career was his performance against future top-40 pick Braden Fiske in 2022. Goncalves shut down the standout defensive end, limiting him to just one hurry when the two were matched up. Goncalves moved Fiske with ease in the run game and held his own as a pass protector all game long. 

Goncalves is at his best in the pass game, as his natural strength and positioning is a major strength in the trenches. He is explosive and competitive on every snap and he makes opposing players work for every yard when rushing the passer. He may be a tad stiff to play the tackle position, but that concern could be mitigated a tad on the interior.

Goncalves also has some technical tricks in his toolbox. He is an independent puncher on film, and he loves to mix in this feigned punch to get his assignment to open up their chest. This is a really cool move that he has already built into his game:

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As a run blocker, Goncalves could stand to play a bit lower and stay more attached to his assignment, but he is far from a liability in this department. He is phenomenal at blocking his assignment on their line of movement and he is at his best on zone run calls (something the Colts’ offense specializes in). 

If the Colts can get Goncalves to play a bit lower to win the leverage game in the trenches, he can have a strong impact in this area of his game. He has the tools to be a plus player in the Colts’ run scheme.

The Bottom Line

The Colts elected to go after depth in round three of this draft. Matt Goncalves has experience playing both tackle spots and likely projects better as an interior option at the NFL level. He may not be a starter this season (or potentially next season either), but his ability as a five position backup is still well worth this selection. 

Goncalves is eerily similar to Will Fries, in my opinion. Both players are explosive, experienced players that simply understand their role on the offensive line. Adding a second Fries-level player to this offensive line room is a massive win on day two of this draft for the Colts. 

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Zach Hicks

ZACH HICKS

Zach Hicks is the Lead Analyst for HorseshoeHuddle.com. Zach has been on the NFL beat since 2017. His works have appeared on SBNation.com, the Locked On Podcast Network, BleacherReport.com, MSN.com, & Yardbarker.com.