Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots made a very surprising pick during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft with the selection of Tennessee-Chattanooga offensive lineman Cole Strange at No. 29. New England had traded back from No. 21 to 29 in a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Draft analysts had expected Strange to still be available in the second or third round (and perhaps still available at No. 54, New England’s second-round pick).
Some league insight on Chattanooga guard Cole Strange, who went to the Patriots at 29.
"Tough, gritty, should have a chance to start (as a rookie)."
Teams valued him as a 2nd/3rd rounder.
"Reach at this point."
"Most shocking pick of the first round."
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) April 29, 2022
"Wow… He was one of my favorite mid-round guys. I thought you might get him in the third round." -Daniel Jeremiah on the #Patriots first round pick, Cole Strange
— Ryan Talbot (@RyanTalbotBills) April 29, 2022
Even NFL head coaches and general managers were surprised.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead were in the middle of a press conference when they saw that the Patriots drafted Strange.
As Snead was speaking to the media, McVay interrupted with, “Cole Strange just went!”
Snead followed with, “Oh my, UT-Chattanooga to the first round!”
And then (a cackling) McVay said, “How about that? And we wasted our time watching him, thinking he’d be at [pick] 104 maybe!”
Rams reaction to Patriots selection of Cole Strange at #29.
This is hysterical. pic.twitter.com/ADzqt4lizQ
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) April 29, 2022
Incredible. The laughter really caps it off.
And if only we could see Belichick’s reaction to that video.
[Photo Credit: Los Angeles Rams; Andrew Siciliano]