Bill Belichick Offers Initial Scouting Report On ‘Aggressive’ Cole Strange

'Cole fits well into our team'


Apr 29, 2022

NFL draft experts have a lot to say about Cole Strange, whom the Patriots took Thursday night with the 29th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Some view the interior offensive lineman as a talented, worthy high pick, while others believe New England reached for a projected third-rounder.

But what does Bill Belichick think?

The Patriots head coach spoke to reporters via Zoom call shortly after the completion of the first round. He was asked a variety of questions, including whether Strange, who played at an FCS school, will play guard or center in the pros, what he likes about the 23-year-old and, generally, why he felt the Chattanooga product was worth a first-round pick.

“Cole fits well into our team and our system,” Belichick said. “Obviously, think he’s a good player.”

Belichick later added: “He’s long, he’s athletic. He’s physically tough. He’s an aggressive player. I think he has a good combination of skills, run and pass, movement, length, strength, again, all of which will hopefully get better. Like they will with any player coming from college to the National Football League. But I think he has a good skill set, and he’s a smart player that makes a lot of good decisions on the interior line there, timing, when to come off, and combo blocks, things like that.”

Belichick and the Patriots watched Strange at the Senior Bowl, at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine and again at Chattanooga’s pro day. Clearly, they like what they saw from the 6-foot-5, 307-pounder, despite Strange having played against relatively inferior collegiate competition.

“It’s a composite of work with any player, so whatever opportunities you have to evaluate him, you evaluate him,” Belichick said of scouting Strange. “Senior Bowl was part of it. That was definitely a move up competitively. They played a couple SEC teams and his workout was pretty good, as well. He’s a pretty athletic guy with good size, smart.

“He does a lot of things, has a lot of good tools to work with. He’s got a long way to go like every player does when he comes into the NFL, but look forward to working with him.”

The Patriots currently have a need at guard following the departures of Ted Karras and Shaq Mason, and also lack center depth behind David Andrews. Belichick didn’t reveal much when asked what position he envisions Strange playing.

“We’ll see,” Belichick said. “He’s played all the positions on the offensive line. So we’ll see. I’m not sure.

” … We’ll see exactly how it turns out here, but I think he has an opportunity to be competitive at a couple different things, but we’ll see how it goes.”

“Aggressive” is a term that comes up a lot with Strange, be it in scouting reports or in evaluations from coaches and experts. And it’s a quality that Strange himself believes he’ll bring to the Patriots.

“My playing style is aggressive and relentless,” he said in a conference call with Patriots reporters. “Aggressive and trying to play nasty. How the game of football is supposed to be played.”

Thumbnail photo via Vasha Hunt/USA TODAY Sports Images
National offensive lineman Cole Strange
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