Instant takeaways from Colts picking Pitt OT Matt Goncalves

Here are my instant takeaways following the Colts jumping up a few spots in the third-round of the NFL Draft to select Pitt offensive tackle Matt Goncalves.

– In terms of Relative Athletic Score (RAS), Goncalves is a bit of an outlier compared to what we’ve seen from Ballard over the last two drafts. Goncalves’ RAS was 7.69. Only three selections in the last two years had a RAS below 9.0, and the lowest was 8.48.

– Goncalves missed the final nine games of the 2023 season with a big toe injury. In 2022, he allowed no sacks and 17 pressures. He ranked 55th out of 200 eligible tackles in PFF’s run-blocking grade and 56th in pass-blocking efficiency.

– Goncalves has experience playing both tackle spots. In Lance Zierlein’s pre-draft scouting report, he mentions that Goncalves could move inside if needed, but I would imagine the Colts will give him every opportunity to stick at tackle.

– The Colts are returning their starting five from a unit that was good in both pass protection and the run game last season. However, if we look ahead to 2025, Braden Smith will be in the final year of his current deal and comes with a hefty cap hit of almost $20 million and Blake Freeland took his lumps as a rookie.

– If the Colts do think Goncalves could be an option at guard, Will Fries is set to be a free agent in 2025.

– During his pre-draft press conference, Chris Ballard spoke very highly about the depth of the offensive tackle draft class, mentioning that very good players could be found in the middle and even late portions of the draft.

– At a minimum, depth had to be added to this position group. Before the draft, only four offensive tackles were on the roster–that just isn’t enough to get through training camp and the preseason.

– As it should be, it is one of the most important positions in football; offensive tackle continues to be a position that Ballard invests in. In recent drafts, he selected Freeland, Bernhard Raimann, and Jake Witt.

– Using the Rich Hill trade value chart, the Colts overpaid slightly to move up. The Colts got pick 79 (57) from Arizona, and sent the Cardinals picks 82 (54) and 191 (6). When the Colts moved down in the second-round with Carolina, they netted six points.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire