Top Draft Expert Gives Patriots Harsh Review, But ‘Loved’ Cole Strange Pick

Plus: He raves about Marcus Jones


May 2, 2022

Many NFL pundits have come down hard on the Patriots for their performance in the 2022 NFL Draft.

From reaching for Cole Strange and Tyquan Thornton to drafting a quarterback in the fourth round, New England’s strategy over the weekend baffled man. Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Patriots his worst overall draft grade, and Peter King called Bill Belichick “naive” for using a first-round pick on Strange.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler, responsible for a massive, sprawling draft guide that even NFL general managers read, also gave New England a harsh overall review. However, he has a different take on the Patriots drafting Strange, an interior offensive lineman out of Chattanooga.

While ranking New England’s draft class 30th out of 32, Brugler offered these takes on Strange, cornerback Marcus Jones and guard Chasen Hines:

Favorite pick: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
I loved the Cole Strange pick, even if the Patriots reached and took him much earlier than they probably had to. But Jones was my favorite pick of New England’s class. The No. 70 overall player on my board, I was worried that he might freefall in the draft because he is small (5-8, 174 pounds) and is coming off double shoulder surgery. However, he still went in the third round, which is a testament to his talent as a cornerback and return man.

Day 3 pick who could surprise: Chasen Hines, OG, LSU
The Patriots have a decent track record of developing Day 3 linemen, and Hines could be next if he keeps his weight under check. He flashes explosive traits for a 330-pounder on short and long pulls and has spent time at all three interior line positions.

The negative draft feedback likely will outweigh the positive for the Patriots moving forward. But it’s important to remember that not everyone believes Belichick was crazy for targeting an FCS guard in the first round.

If you want to freshen up on New England’s 2022 draft class, check out the story in the link below to view highlight videos of all 10 picks.

Thumbnail photo via Chattanooga Athletics
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