Matt Goncalves’ Draft Profile | Pittsburgh, OT Scouting Report

With his scouting report, can Pittsburgh's Matt Goncalves be a middle-round gem on the offensive line in the 2024 NFL Draft? Let's find out.

Every year, teams look for potential mid-round diamonds in the rough on the offensive line. With his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report, could Pittsburgh’s Matt Goncalves fall into that category? Let’s take a closer look at his composite profile.

Matt Goncalves Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’6 1/4″
  • Weight: 327 pounds
  • Length: 33 1/4″
  • Wingspan: 81 1/4″
  • Hand: 9″
  • Position: Offensive Lineman
  • School: Pittsburgh
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior

Often, we see prospects who missed time in their final season fall under the radar late in the draft process. That effect is compounded when injuries force a prospect out of pre-draft events like the All-Star circuit and the NFL Scouting Combine.

Goncalves has fallen victim to the injury effect this cycle, but it’s time to remember his name. Goncalves, who was present for interviews at the East-West Shrine Bowl, has NFL interest, and it’s only a matter of time before he’s taking snaps on Sundays.

That NFL upside, of course, was visible early on in Goncalves’ career. A four-year letterman in high school basketball, Goncalves routinely outmatched opponents with his size and athleticism, and it was a similar story on the football field.

Goncalves was billed as a four-star recruit and a top-250 national talent by some outlets, and his strong play yielded an opportunity with Pat Narduzzi and the Pittsburgh Panthers. He redshirted in 2019 but started three games in 2020 — then five in 2021 and all 13 in 2022.

Although Goncalves’ 2023 campaign was cut short by an injury to his left big toe, the 23-year-old had already generated enough tape to land himself squarely on the NFL radar. Now, with the 2024 NFL Draft fast approaching, he’s a sleeper to know.

Goncalves’ Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Brings excellent size, mass, and proportions and has decent proportional length.
  • Explosive athlete off the snap, who can generate imposing momentum into contact.
  • Combined explosiveness, frame density, and length grant him stellar raw power capacity.
  • Has the rotational freedom to ruthlessly torque through extensions at contact.
  • With his torque and power, can displace defenders and wrench open running lanes.
  • Well-proportioned frame and easy knee bend allow him to naturally acquire leverage.
  • Above-average flexibility allows him to keep leverage and seal off lanes while anchored.
  • Has the requisite core and grip strength to control edge setters amid heavy resistance.
  • Can tighten hands at contact to nullify power moves, then re-exert in rapid succession.
  • Flashes a strong inside hand to prevent rushers from diverting back inside on counters.
  • Relatively smooth and well-balanced on weight transfers with natural-set footwork.
  • Has good angle awareness, reaction speed against counters, and vision on stunts.
  • Carries tenacious energy off the snap and unleashes that energy toward opponents.
  • Will bury opponents who sacrifice leverage trying to penetrate gaps in the run game.
  • Started 11 games at left tackle and 13 at right tackle and has Day 1 position flexibility.

Weaknesses

  • Length is closer to average than elite, which can induce lurches and waist-bending.
  • Strides can be a bit tight in space, slightly limiting range as an outsize zone blocker.
  • Doesn’t have elite change-of-direction or movement freedom out of the linear plane.
  • Can experience delays when attempting to swivel back and seal defenders into gaps.
  • Can divert upright quickly after making initial contact, detracting from power in base.
  • Upright drift and frantic feet can limit his range and efficiency in recovery at the apex.
  • Frantic feet at contact can reduce stability and affect his ability to drop the anchor.
  • When recalibrating his base, sometimes extends before his feet have been reset.
  • Sometimes waits too long to tempo his footwork up as rushers threaten the apex.
  • Hand placement and precision can still improve, as extraneous motion can impact load.
  • Outside hand isn’t always strong enough to disable rip moves around the apex.
  • At times, overcommits to interior rushers as a help blocker, giving delayed blitzers lanes.
  • Non-elite length, flexibility, and inconsistent hand precision could force a move to guard.
  • Missed most of the 2023 season with a toe injury that required surgery.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Goncalves grades out as a fringe top-100 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft who could garner consideration as early as late Day 2. Even so, he’d provide the best value early on Day 3 as an immediate depth piece with a starting upside at multiple spots on the line.

More often than not, most prospect evaluations become a balance of physical tools and operational utility, and Goncalves has a good mix of both as an offensive lineman. He started two-dozen games at Pittsburgh, splitting time between left and right tackle, and his game naturally developed with that experience.

At his size, Goncalves has great knee bend, leverage acquisition, and awareness, both in the passing game and the run game. As a run blocker, he’s angle-sound and physical, and as a pass protector, he’s balanced, combative, and strong enough to absorb power with his anchors.

Going further, Goncalves flashes plenty of physical upside on tape. He’s explosive off the snap with the burst and length to supplement power exertions, and he has good foot speed and base recalibration freedom on passing downs.

There’s a solid functional floor and an intriguing ceiling with Goncalves, but minute technical deficiencies and non-elite traits make his projection more complicated.

Goncalves’ non-elite hip flexibility can limit his recovery freedom and ability to swivel outside gaps. At times, he’ll bend at the waist and lurch beyond his center of gravity when attempting to compensate for his middling length and extend his reach at the apex.

KEEP READING: When Is the 2024 NFL Draft?

Because Goncalves isn’t yet elite with his hand placement or synergy, a move to guard could feasibly negate some of his technical inefficiencies while also playing to the traits that make him so appealing — explosiveness, power, strength, displacement in the run game, and finishing ability.

Goncalves has the traits to survive at either tackle or guard, and that’s part of his utility. Immediately, he’s a quality depth piece, who could go on to be a spot-starter at either tackle spot. But at guard, he has a higher ceiling and could hold down a long-term job in power, gap, and inside-zone schemes.

Draft with your friends today! PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator now supports multiple drafters during the same draft! Ensure your player rankings are up to date on the 2024 NFL Draft Big Board and you know what every NFL team needs before drafting.

Related Articles