5 offensive linemen the Patriots could have drafted instead of Caedan Wallace

Oklahoma State v Kansas State
Oklahoma State v Kansas State / Peter G. Aiken/GettyImages
4 of 5

Matt Goncalves 

Matt Goncalves was projected as a fourth-round pick, but the Colts selected him in the third round instead. The last time Chris Ballard drafted an offensive lineman in the third round was Bernhard Raimann in 2022. Raimann has played 1,722 snaps in 26 games over the last two seasons, so Ballard knows what he's doing.  

Goncalves is an inch taller and 13 pounds heavier than Wallace, but his 40-yard dash was only 0.05 seconds slower! He had a good vertical jump on his pro day, recording a 30.5-inch leap that placed him in the 79th percentile. But he has really small hands—they measured nine inches, which is only in the 9th percentile in this class. 

The former Pittsburgh Panther played 697 snaps left and 973 snaps at right tackle during his college career and was named one of their team captains last year.  

One evaluator thinks he could play all five spots on the offensive line in the NFL. On tape, he looks like a real competitor. He wants to block everyone, and he’s almost big enough to do that. Goncalves only allowed three pressures on 900 passing snaps in college! The Manorville, New York native received a 77.3 pass block grade from PFF in 2023. 

There were only two concerns with Goncalves heading into the draft. The first is that he can stand a bit tall when he’s run blocking, allowing defenders to get underneath him and disrupt his momentum. But that will be less of an issue if he plays on the interior of the line.

The second issue was that he suffered a significant toe injury that required surgery in 2023, and that caused him to miss the season's final nine games.