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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 22 Pitt at Louisville

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INDIANAPOLIS – A rare Chris Ballard trade up occurred in Round 3 on Friday.

With the 79th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Colts took Pittsburgh offensive lineman Matt Goncalves in Round Three.

Here are 3 takeaways on Goncalves:

1. Versatile Offensive Lineman

The Colts made an interesting selection in Round 3, drafting versatile offensive tackle Matt Goncalves, who could end up sliding inside at the next level. Goncalves started 13 times at right tackle and 11 times at left tackle at Pittsburgh. As far as a position projection for Goncales at the next level, the Colts are very open-minded to tackle, guard with Chris Ballard even mentioning center. The 6-6, 327-pound Goncalves didn’t have super impressive athletic testing numbers at his Pittsburgh Pro Day, as he was still working back from a 2023 foot injury which sidelined Goncalves, a team captain, for his final 9 games, and it also took him out of the East/West Shrine Bowl. In The Colts did have some unique intel on Goncalves courtesy of new defensive line coach Charlie Partridge, who came to Indy this offseason after being on Pittsburgh’s staff in previous years.


2. Rare Trade Up

For one of the rare times in the Chris Ballard era, the Colts traded up on Day 2 of the draft to select the 23-year-old Goncalves. The trade up was just 3 spots, with the Colts giving up a 6th rounder to Arizona. Clearly, the Colts had a decent level of desire Goncalves, who was a player many projected to go later in the draft than the middle of Round 3 (Goncalves thought he would be a 3rd or 4th round pick). Offensive line depth did need some mid-round attention this year, but it will be interesting to see how he fits into the puzzle, offering some position flex. Bernhard Raimann was picked just 2 spots higher than Goncalves two years ago, but this pick offers a few more questions in projecting him into the Colts current OL group.


3. Offensive Line Love

Chris Ballard mentioned in the draft he loved the mid-round depth along the offensive line. Here’s another offensive lineman pick in that range. Of course, this will depend exactly how he projects to the NFL. While Bernhard Raimann has shown plenty of signs to be the long-term left tackle, life after Braden Smith (age 28) is something to ponder a bit, especially after the former 2nd round missed 7 games last season. The interior is where you have more questions as right guard Will Fries is entering a contract year.

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