Patriots draft OL Cole Strange with first-round pick at No. 29

Patriots draft OL Cole Strange with first-round pick at No. 29

The New England Patriots decided to shore up their offensive line with their first-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft.The Patriots selected offensive lineman Cole Strange with the 29th overall selection Thursday night.Strange played collegiately at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, an FCS football program.The 23-year-old is listed at 6 feet, 5 inches tall and a weight of 307 pounds. He participated in the Senior Bowl, one of the premier college football all-star game showcases for NFL draft prospects.”We felt like that was a good, a guy that fits well,” Bill Belichick said of the team’s first round selection. “Cole fits well into our team and our system. Obviously think he’s a good player.” He also got some starting experience at left tackle and center while at Chattanooga. He earned first team All-America recognition from numerous outlets during the 2021 season, including the American Football Coaches Association and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He earned third team All-America honors from The Associated Press.According to ESPN’s rankings, Strange was the third-best offensive guard in this year’s NFL draft class. The Patriots lost All-Pro guard Joe Thuney in 2021 via free agency and then lost starting guard Ted Karras in free agency this spring. New England also traded their longtime starting right guard Shaq Mason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier in the offseason. New England entered the first round with the No. 21 pick, but traded it to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for No. 29, along with a third-round pick (No. 94) and fourth-round pick (No. 121).When asked if Strange was being considered by the Patriots when the team was selecting at 21, Belichick said he was on their radar. “If we had stayed at 21, then we would have obviously picked somebody. Probably a good chance it would have been him,” Belichick said. Belichick said the team believed “he wouldn’t have lasted much longer” if they waited to draft him in the second or third round of the NFL Draft. The Chiefs drafted cornerback Trent McDuffie out of the University of Washington with the 21st overall pick.

The New England Patriots decided to shore up their offensive line with their first-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

The Patriots selected offensive lineman Cole Strange with the 29th overall selection Thursday night.

Strange played collegiately at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, an FCS football program.

The 23-year-old is listed at 6 feet, 5 inches tall and a weight of 307 pounds. He participated in the Senior Bowl, one of the premier college football all-star game showcases for NFL draft prospects.

“We felt like that was a good, a guy that fits well,” Bill Belichick said of the team’s first round selection. “Cole fits well into our team and our system. Obviously think he’s a good player.”

The Knoxville, Tennessee, native played 46 collegiate games at left guard. He also got some starting experience at left tackle and center while at Chattanooga. He earned first team All-America recognition from numerous outlets during the 2021 season, including the American Football Coaches Association and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He earned third team All-America honors from The Associated Press.

According to ESPN’s rankings, Strange was the third-best offensive guard in this year’s NFL draft class. The Patriots lost All-Pro guard Joe Thuney in 2021 via free agency and then lost starting guard Ted Karras in free agency this spring.

New England also traded their longtime starting right guard Shaq Mason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier in the offseason.

Offensive lineman Cole Strange of UT-Chattanooga runs through drills during practice for  the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022,  x20;in Mobile, Ala.

AP Photo/Butch Dill

Offensive lineman Cole Strange of UT-Chattanooga runs through drills during practice for the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Mobile, Ala.

New England entered the first round with the No. 21 pick, but traded it to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for No. 29, along with a third-round pick (No. 94) and fourth-round pick (No. 121) .

When asked if Strange was being considered by the Patriots when the team was selecting at 21, Belichick said he was on their radar. “If we had stayed at 21, then we would have obviously picked somebody. Probably a good chance it would have been him,” Belichick said.

Belichick said the team believed “he wouldn’t have lasted much longer” if they waited to draft him in the second or third round of the NFL Draft.

The Chiefs drafted cornerback Trent McDuffie out of the University of Washington with the 21st overall pick.

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