New England Patriots

Cole Strange lines up for a play against Wofford. (Credit: GoMocs.com)
  • It was a late night last night in Foxborough, with the Patriots trading back in the first round. It wasn’t until after 11 p.m. that the draft room got on the phone to tell Cole Strange he was the team’s pick at 29 overall.

    Friday afternoon, the Patriots released the footage from the call, including clips of Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft. They also showed Kraft watching the pick on TV.

  • Although there’s no video of Strange getting the call, he shared his reaction when speaking with Patriots media members Thursday night. “I was excited. I didn’t know exactly when I was going to go. I knew I was going to go, but honestly, it was just excitement,” Strange recalled. “I’m here at home with my dad. I don’t know what to tell you other than we’re so excited and we got a village of new Patriots fans.”

    “Honestly, their confidence in me, it means a lot. Coach Belichick’s probably the greatest coach there’s ever been and I don’t have enough positive things to say, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a Patriot, I really can’t,” Strange continued. “I’ll tell you I just cannot wait to get up there and start playing and practicing. I cannot wait.”

    What can Patriots fans expect to see from Strange once he gets up to New England? “I would say my playing style is aggressive and relentless,” Strange said when asked to describe himself as a player. “As far as strengths go, you know, I’m confident in my abilities overall as an offensive lineman. But I guess I would say my mentality and just the fact that I do everything I can to contribute to the team and make sure that I can just add to the culture in a winning way as much as possible.”

    When evaluating draft picks, it’s not uncommon to compare them to pro players to help paint the pictures. However, Strange is working towards being a one-of-one player.

    “I wouldn’t really say that I modeled my game after anyone specifically,” he said. “To be honest with you, I guess I’ve always kind of just wanted to play my own game and make it to where people are saying, ‘I’d love to be able to play like Cole Strange,’ you know? I guess I’ve never really looked at anyone else and wanted to emulate what they do. I wanted to create my own way of playing, which I would say is just aggressive and trying to play nasty and I feel like how the game of football is supposed to be played.”

    For at least the early portion of his career, Strange will likely be linked to the narrative that he was ‘over-drafted’ at 29 overall. While that may be a lot for a player to deal with, he already planned to approach his entry into the NFL with an edge.

    “To tell you the truth, I’ve kind of held this stance and this thought process from the very beginning. No matter where I got drafted or where I got picked, I was going to push the exact same way with the same chip on my shoulder that I’ve always had,” Strange explained. “I know that this is just the beginning and whenever I get there, I’m going to have to put in a lot of work. And that’s just how I’ve always felt, really. No matter where I went.”

    Strange also spoke with the media on Friday, when he was formally introduced by the team at Gillette Stadium. He talked about giving himself ‘scenarios’ to help pump himself up on the field, and noted he made a connection to techniques explained my Michael Jordan in The Last Dance.

    “The pettiest thing you can think of that shouldn’t bother you at all, feed that wolf,” Strange said of this mentality.

  • The Patriots draft continues Friday night. Heading into Day 2, the team is scheduled to pick three more times in the top 100. They currently have the 54th pick (2nd round), 85th pick (3rd round), and 94th pick (3rd round).