The New England Patriots were up to their normal antics during the 2022 NFL Draft. They have already made two trades, one with the Houston Texans before the draft even began and another in the first round on Thursday night with the Kansas City Chiefs.
New England traded the No. 21 overall pick to the Kansas City, who selected Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie, in exchange for No. 29, 94 and 121 in the 2022 NFL Draft. With the 21st overall pick, the Patriots selected guard Cole Strange out of Chattanooga.
It seems like a bitch of a stretch based on rankings, as Strange was the No. 3 offensive guard in this year’s draft class and had a third-round grade on him. But, the Patriots had a major need on the interior of their offensive line and Strange should fill that right away.
In 2021, the team lost Joe Thuney in free agency to the Chiefs. This year, Ted Karras departed for the Cincinnati Bengals. The Patriots also traded Shaq Mason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving some big voids on the offensive line.
Strange will fill one of those from Day 1, as he is versatile enough to play either guard or center. While the value doesn’t seem to match the draft slot, New England is getting someone that should be able to step into the lineup right away.
The Chattanooga product believes the mentality that brings to the table is his best attribute as he is a team-first guy. He wants to add to the winning culture that has already been created in New England with his aggressive and relentless playing style.
The game is supposed to be played aggressively and nasty and that is exactly what he is going to bring to the field this season.
Strange had a chip on his shoulder as a projected third-round pick and he is going to keep that mentality despite now being a first-rounder of the Patriots. He has some expectations to live up to, but he sounds like someone ready to get after it, clearing some holes for Damien Harris and Rhemondre Stevenson to run through and protecting Mac Jones in the pocket.