Matt Goncalves hasn’t played since the fourth quarter of the loss to West Virginia, and he won’t be back this season after undergoing surgery. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be back at all.
According to a report from Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline, Goncalves will enter the 2024 NFL Draft as opposed to using his sixth season of eligibility.
Additionally, he reported that Goncalves was a top-60 prospect prior to the season.
When the injury initially occurred and Pat Narduzzi announced that Goncalves would miss the remainder of the 2023 season, he acknowledged the chance his starting left tackle could return but wasn’t sure if that would be the case.
“That’s something him and his family have to decide,” Narduzzi said. “That’s up to him. Find out where he is, how he felt he played in two and a half games, and it’s too hard to say. Again, as I’ve talked to the family, it’s a matter of him just taking — he’s got time. First thing is just get healthy first and then worry about where you are there.
“But if he’s a first- or second rounder probably should go, just like I would recommend to everybody. If he’s going to be a third or fourth, if the NFL comes back and says, stay in school, he probably should listen to that. So, it’s all something they’ve got to make a decision.”
Goncalves started all three games he played in this season, filling the crucial left tackle pivot, and he was expected to break out even further after a strong 2022 season.
Goncalves earned third-team All-ACC honors last season, taking 830 snaps last season, which only trailed Jake Kradel, and he flashed the ability to play on either side of the line the process.
He’s played in 35 games (making 21 starts dating back to 2020), and his size (6-foot-6, 330 pounds) and versatility (able to play on the left and right side of the line) should entice scouts.
He earned a 71.9 PFF offensive grade last season, with 76.2 in pass blocking and a 67.2 in run blocking, in 830 snaps — starting all 13 games last season. According to PFF, he didn’t allow a sack while allowing five quarterback hits and 12 quarterback hurries. In 165 snaps this season, he allowed just four pressures and three hurries.
Goncalves would join the likes of Carter Warren (fourth round, 2023), Jimmy Morrissey (seventh round, 2021), Brian O’Neill (second round, 2018), Dorian Johnson (fourth round, 2017) and Adam Bisnowaty (sixth round, 2017) as Pitt offensive linemen to be selected over the last handful of NFL Drafts.
Without Goncalves in the lineup (as well as the majority of the initial starting line), Pitt has been forced to roll with new combinations of younger offensive linemen.
Ryan Baer, Branson Taylor, Terrence Moore, Terrence Enos Jr. and BJ Williams are leading the resurgence of youth along the line — and offer future NFL potential, too.