NFL Draft Roundup: How Patriots Selection Of Cole Strange Was Graded

The Patriots selected Strange at No. 29 overall


Apr 29, 2022

The New England Patriots made a rather surprising decision during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday with night the selection of Tennessee-Chattanooga guard Cole Strange.

Strange was not viewed by many as a first-round pick with NFL draft analysts Daniel Jeremiah having him as his 74th ranked player entering Thursday. ESPN’s draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. wasn’t far off from there either, calling it a “huge reach.”

The draft grades from a handful of media outlets depict a rather troubling theme.

The Ringer’s Danny Kelly: D
New England leaves an awful lot of talent on the board here in grabbing Strange, my 73rd-ranked player. I don’t love the value, even with the trade down factored in.

The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia: D
… Instead, they used their first-round selection on a soon-to-be 24-year-old interior offensive lineman. I’m happy to look foolish with this grade a couple years from now, but I don’t get it.

Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Hanson: D+
While he’ll fill the void created by Ted Karras and has versatility to play guard or center, this is a surprise, as they likely could have waited at least another round, possibly two, for Strange’s Chad Reuter: D
Their pick at No. 29 was a surprise, as Strange was selected at least 40-to-50 picks ahead of where I expected him to go.

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco: C
They draft the replacement for Shaq Mason at right guard. This might be a little high for him, but it certainly fills a need. They get younger and cheaper.

Yahoo Sports’ Eric Edholm: C-
Our 91st-ranked player, Strange screams Patriots … but also screams poor value. 

Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski: F
Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots don’t care what anyone thinks. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have reached for Strange with the 29th overall pick.

FOX Sports’ Rob Rang: B-
… Still, this felt like a selection New England could have made on Day Two. Don’t be surprised, however, when Strange competes for a starting role early and latches on to that role with the same grip strength he shows as a blocker

Well, based on the opinions of a handful of media outlets, it seems there’s only one way to go from here as the Patriots gear up for the second and third round Friday starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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