Sean McVay surprised by Cole Strange pick, but Patriots didn’t think he’d be around long

NFL: APR 28 2022 Draft
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Rams head coach Sean McVay didn’t have a first-round pick of his own to discuss during a Thursday night press conference, but he was keeping an eye on what other teams were doing and that led to an immediate reaction to the Patriots’ choice at No. 29.

The Pats picked guard Cole Strange and McVay reacted with surprise. He said the Rams “wasted our time watching him, thinking he’d be at 104″ when they make their first selection this year. There were plenty of others who were surprised to see the UT-Chattanooga product come off the board at that point, but Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t agree with that assessment.

Belichick said at his own press conference that Strange “wouldn’t have lasted much longer” and that the team might have taken him at No. 21 if they didn’t trade that pick to the Chiefs for the 29th, 94th, and 121st selections.

“Yeah, well, if we had stayed at 21, then we would have obviously picked somebody,” Belichick said. “Probably a good chance it would have been him. I don’t know, there were several teams that we talked to prior to when we made the trade. There were some other conversations going on there, but ultimately that’s the one we chose. Glad Cole was there when we picked, and as I said, feel like we made the best decision that we could at 21.”

Strange isn’t the first Patriots draft pick to elicit reactions of disbelief, but outside reviews have never been of much importance to Belichick and Strange will get every chance to prove him right on the field.

58 responses to “Sean McVay surprised by Cole Strange pick, but Patriots didn’t think he’d be around long

  1. Jordan Richards, Dominique Easley, ras I Dowling, tavon Wilson, Duke Dawson…. On and on.

    Just irresponsible to take strange at that spot. As much as other pats fans don’t want to admit it but they are going to have trouble with the jets next year. All 3 other afc east teams have gotten significantly better this off-season. It’s not over yet but this has been an embarrassing showing in a year where Bill needed to step up

  2. With Karras and Shaq Mason now gone the Patriots were missing 40% of last year’s OLine.. they HAD to take the next versatile interior OL-man available.

    When Green went at 15th and Zion at 17th (two players that went waaay earlier than projected) the Patriots faced a nightmare scenario and a draft that featured the second most EVER offensive linemen selected in the first round since the 60’s.

    It’s not a sexy pick, but it was an URGENT one. Take a look through the interior lineman prospects and you will see that Strange was the best available for the New England.

  3. NE trades Shaq Mason for a fifth round pick, thus creating a need, and spend a first round pick on that need. I’m having trouble understanding the overall logic behind the moves.

  4. I’m not a Patriots fan by any means but Jahar Dotson, Quay Walker and Lewis Cine were all bigger reaches than Strange.

  5. The fact that it’s now Super Bowl winning head coaches laughing at Belichick’s draft pick is pretty damning.

    This kid may well be good, but LA clearly felt he’d still be there in the 3rd round so why reach that early. Even worse, why pass up on Karkaftis when you desperately need help on a defense that couldn’t force the Bills to punt once in the playoffs.

    The sad thing is that we are going to get more of this crap from him tonight when he picks a load of JAGs just because they once played Lacrosse or have an ‘I love the army’ badge on their college locker.

    This already feels like the draft that’s going to guarantee that the Patriots finish dead last in the AFC East. Even the Jets overtook New England last night. And as long as Kraft keeps BB it will be the same next year too.

  6. I am a fan of the Rams, but did not care to much for McVay’s reaction. I know he means no harm but not exactly the type of welcome you hope for as a young prospect just entering the league.

  7. The Pats needed better protection for the QB, so a very good pick.
    Still not convinced Mac Jones is the man though

  8. Hated the pick…. but expect him to get a second contract. About as safe as you could get at that point in the draft. More about protecting last year’s first rounder.

  9. Reminds me of Logan Mankins at 32 when Mel Kiper was shuffling for his paperwork of fhe later rounds. I will never forget that. It was hilarious. Live tv and Kiper didn’t even have Mankins as a high 2nd rder.

    lol

    Pats needed an OL after the Mason deal and NE thought he was the best guy there and added 2 free picks where the player quality is the same as Rd 2. This is how it’s done.

    BB drafts football players he can coach up, not “rankings” by dork analysts who never played.

    No one knew who Kyle Dugger was 2 years ago either and he looks quite good so far.

  10. And people still think this guy is a good talent evaluator. He must have been working on his chess game instead of watching game film.

  11. It wouldn’t be a Patriots pick unless everyone was unprepared with a draft package for the player and had to find a polite way to say it was a big reach on TV!

  12. Nice trade to move down 8 spots and get a 3 & 4.. but wasn’t Dean from GA available? They need SPEED on defense. Time will tell on this Strange guy, but lineman are a dime a dozen later on, speed at LB is not.

  13. With the draft capital BB got in the trade-down with KC he could afford to take a shot and pick Cole “Doctor” Strange (yeah, I know, go ahead and shoot me). “Strange mysteriously comes out of nowhere to pancake the DL.”

  14. Selected 40-50 picks ahead of where he should have been. Looking to be another BB whiff as they really need a CB badly

    Kraft needs to hire an actual GM and tell BIll to worry about coaching

  15. An exercise in futility: watching the NFL draft as a Patriots fan and expecting good results. The only good result was for the Chiefs in snatching McDuffie.

  16. Half of the first round picks go bust almost right away and definitely by the end of their contract. With the silo and bias in team scouting (and media scouting services), the popular picks are almost never the right pick. We should be mocking the GMs/owners for their bad picks.

  17. notaloon says:
    April 29, 2022 at 9:43 am
    Nice trade to move down 8 spots and get a 3 & 4.. but wasn’t Dean from GA available? They need SPEED on defense. Time will tell on this Strange guy, but lineman are a dime a dozen later on, speed at LB is not.

    ——————–

    They actually have a lot of speed coming on D at linebacker. McMillan and Mack Wilson are in the mix, not to mention McGrone who was redshirted. Add in Perkins on the edge, and there you have more speed at LB which they will get. How good it is remains to be seen, not to mention they use Safeties as LBs anyway.

    They obviously didn’t love Lloyd from Utah, because they would have taken him at 21 and not traded back. That’s sort of obvious. If they liked him as a fit, they sit and take him.

    The trade back represents BB getting an OL he wanted with the severe drop off past a guy they liked in Cole and adding TWO picks in the meat of the draft. The draft should be judged overall, not in a childish way as if your first XMas present opened is somehow the best.

    Rounds 2-6, where BB has a ton of picks, is where the draft will be judged.

    My guess is they wanted Penning for Tackle and when he went, they traded back. But, OL had to be addressed with Mason and Karras leaving, so this shouldn’t be a shock.

    Move the goal posts one more time, why don’t you?

    Just because we don’t know the commodities being used quite yet for LB on the roster, doesn’t mean it can’t be an improvement over Hightower last year, who after a year off, couldn’t get it back.

    The speed of the LBs is automatically better with Hightower and Van Noy moving on.

    Somewhere, Mel Kiper sits in a dungeon at home because he is Mel Kiper and somewhere the footage of Kiper scrambling for his Mankins paperwork on live air in 2005 needs to be unearthed. Still one of the funniest draft moments ever.

  18. Patriots have a pretty good track record with offensive linemen, especially guards. I’ll go with Belichick on this one.

  19. Jordan Richards,
    —-
    Richards was a much, much worse pick than this.

    Strange was probably taken 1-1.5 rounds early.

    Richards was picked 5 rounds too early.

  20. No one knew who Kyle Dugger was 2 years ago either and he looks quite good so far.
    —-
    Dugger was not a first round pick.

    Strange needs to be a starter if they made him a first round pick.

  21. Belichick has a history of drafting for need in the 1rst round. They need a starting guard because they decided they wouldn’t/couldn’t pay SMason. The other top guards came off the board early. They couldn’t be sure Strange would still be there for their next pick at the end of the 2nd rnd, so they pulled the trigger. What’s the problem? I have every confidence in BB drafting and building an OLine. Few people knew who Mankins, Thuney and Mason were either. The Pats still have their 2nd, and 2 picks in each rnd 3-6 in a deep draft to address their other needs.

  22. People take way too much stock in mock drafts.
    BB got his OLine guy and 2 more picks. Its not sexy, its team building not a reality show. if you think this pick did not have the OK by Scar…please.

  23. After being tarred and feathered by Josh Allen in the playoffs, you’d have thought D rather than reaching for a projected 3rd round pick.

  24. Interesting comments …. A lot of people have laughed many times in prior years on some questionable selection from Bill and Patriots – Some have turned out busts and some have turned out stellar (Brady, Mankins). I am sure Patriots fan would like Strange to turn out good and hope Bill was right with this pick.

    Also, while Sean has an honest reaction, he is not a GM and has not put a team from ground up like what Bill has done throughout his career as a GM and a coach. As far as I know, Sean coached teams are a bunch of stars (or former star players) from other teams.

  25. As a Pats fan I’ll concede it was a major reach. Getting the extra draft capital certainly helped choke it down. Belichick believed Houston would have grabbed him at 37. I still think it would have made more sense to move up in the 2nd to secure him than take him in the first. While I appreciate the reaction from McVay (as it was almost universally shared among everybody in the NFL community) it might be worth pointing out their board might have needed adjusting as well expecting him to be there at 104. Almost every draft “expert” had Strange as a top 100 pick. Falling anywhere from 72-96. If Strange went at 72 we are only talking about a ranking differential of 10 between the Pats and Rams (72-29 vs 104-72) boards. Were the Rams closer than the Pats? Sure. I’m just pointing out the disparity that was likely apparent on more than a few boards as it pertains to Strange. Neither team seemed to have him ranked correctly which makes the reaction from McVay all the more perplexing to me.

  26. tedmurph says:
    April 29, 2022 at 10:18 am
    Belichick has a history of drafting for need in the 1rst round.

    ———-

    How does this pick help a defense that could not keep the Bills out of the end zone even once? And that was before they lost their best defensive player.

  27. Pats fans who think this was a great pick are delusional. Could have had him in later rounds. No team was banging down the door to grab this guy in the first round.

  28. Where was the outcry when the Colts picked Quenton Nelson at #6 overall or when the Cowboys picked Zack Martin at #16 overall? With a young QB, the Patriots need to be able to effectively run the football keeping high powered offenses on the sideline. Also get your young QB comfortable when he drops back to pass. Hopefully they draft 2 more offensive line picks as games are won and lost in the trenches.

  29. The Dolphins don’t pick until #102 and they had Strange in for a visit. This tells you for sure WHAT A REACH! HaHa Stick to Chess, Coach!

  30. Seriously, who gives a crap what Sean Mc I got no picks till round 3 says….. but I’m glad to hear that we took a guy they spent time on…

  31. “I talked to a league source about Cole Strange. He wasn’t getting out of the second round. Don’t fall for the ‘third round grade’ talk.

    One NFL offensive line coach. who worked him out said if Strange played at Alabama, he’d be considered a surefire first-round prospect.”

    Case closed.

  32. How does this pick help a defense that could not keep the Bills out of the end zone even once?

    It doesn’t. They lost both their starting guards and evidently had Strange rated higher than the defensive players still available. Highly rated guys like McDuffie and Lloyd were there, and they passed. BB knows more than the pundits or the fans. Just ask MMayock. They have 9 more picks. where does it say the 1rst one has to be defense?

  33. Cole Strange had pre-draft visits with:

    Tampa (pick 33)
    Minnesota (pick 34)
    Seattle (40, 41)

    He had multiple meeting with the Jets (pick 38) and met twice with Chicago (pick 39).

  34. Correct me if I am wrong but GM Bill Belichick has won six Super Bowls. In one of those Super Bowls the opposing coach was Sean McVay. The Rams didn’t even score a touchdown in that game. And I do not want to hear that Tom Brady won the game. The Patriots touchdown was a rushing touchdown by Sony Michel and Tom Brady had an interception.

  35. Justify the reach all you want, it’s still a reach. Just because a team had a first round pick & brought the guy in for a visit doesn’t mean that team thinks he’s a first round pick.

  36. GoodellMustGo says:
    April 29, 2022 at 10:14 am
    No one knew who Kyle Dugger was 2 years ago either and he looks quite good so far.
    —-
    Dugger was not a first round pick.

    Strange needs to be a starter if they made him a first round pick.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Another keyboard GM…..Here are the facts: Strange was pick 29, Dugger was pick 37 – 8 picks apart. Being they took Strange in the first round means if he becomes good they get a 5th year option on him. As someone else stated very well – THIS IS TEAM BUILDING, not who can get the flashiest college names. Why is it the same teams keep picking high in the draft every year over and over even though they keep getting great draft grades every year?

  37. sidewinder49 says:
    April 29, 2022 at 10:34 am
    Pats fans who think this was a great pick are delusional. Could have had him in later rounds. No team was banging down the door to grab this guy in the first round.

    Believe me when I tell you most Pats fans do NOT think this was a great pick.

  38. I can’t remember a draft where BB didn’t think he knew better than everyone else.

    Strange may turn into a good or even great player – but he could have been picked much later. It just seems like a waste of a 1st rounder.

  39. As someone already posted, Casario was gonna grab him at 37. 29 is not much of a reach in that case, and they got 2 midround picks

  40. This kid may be a good football player but the Pats need help in the secondary even more so than the OLine. As evidenced by many recent Pats you don’t need to go first round for OLine (Thuney, Mason, Volmer, Cannon, Andrews, et al). What concerns me most is the fact that he is 24 years old and dominated FBS. Would feel a bit better if he dominated in the SEC.

  41. danslonestarblog says:
    April 29, 2022 at 7:53 am
    Jordan Richards, Dominique Easley, ras I Dowling, tavon Wilson, Duke Dawson…. On and on.
    ————–
    Only Easley was a first round pick.

  42. BB picked Duggar just eight picks later and look how great that defense was in the playoffs.

    Relax people.

  43. I think McVay was laughing more at himself than anything else. Probably hoping he was going to get a steal at 104 and be considered a genius move. Seems he wasn’t as sneaky as he fancied himself.

  44. As much as I cant stand the pats, no one knows how any of these picks will turn out. Wait a couple years before you anoint them the next one, or trash them.

  45. Better to have reached a bit there and got the player you needed (there was a run on OL and surprisingly on IOL), while preserving the draft capital you picked up in the trade down, than have had to give up that capital for a trade up in round 2. The value of the trade will be determined somewhat by what they do with the picks they got for trading down. They may have wanted to trade down a second time into the upper 2nd round, and had no takers, so were forced to take the player they felt was best for them a little early rather than a little too late. It is sounding like there was more support for Strange than the prognosticators were aware of, and BB may be right that he’d have gone off the board in the early 2nd round. There is a lot of time for this draft to come out looking a lot better than it does right now. IOL isn’t sexy for sure, but if they get more good talent today and tomorrow, and Strange turns into Joe Thuney, all will be well. BB likes him some Strange.

  46. “NE trades Shaq Mason for a fifth round pick, thus creating a need, and spend a first round pick on that need. I’m having trouble understanding the overall logic behind the moves.”

    —-
    not precisely

    Thy traded Mason to replace him with Onwenu, a much cheaper and (they feel) equally skilled RG.

    They lost LG Karras to free agency, leaving them with flotsam like Ferentz. Strange is a huge upgrade over either Karras or Ferentz.

  47. It cracks me up that McVay (who traded away his entire draft) is sitting there big-timing Belichick. If you’ve ever caught the NFL films highlights of that Rams/Pats SuperBowl, that’s the same McVay who looked like he needed to go change his pants after the pre-game banter on the field with Belichick.

  48. The Strange pick might have been a reach, but just know in 5 years some other team is going to be over-paying for services as a highly regarded FA interior lineman.

  49. Not a Pats fan but BB gets the benefit of the doubt from me – except for WR’s.

  50. To me it comes down to the difference in value between TMcDuffie vs CStrange. Effectively 3rd best DB vs 3rd best G in the draft. There’s probably arguments for and against both players if that statement is entirely accurate or not. If we’re drawing a line in the sand that demarks 1st round talent IMHO McDuffie makes it within that line while Strange does not. Which is why I think it made more sense to try and move up into early round 2.

  51. McVay has nowhere near the experience or accomplishments as Bellichick. So why anyone should view his assessment of Strange as being superior to Bill’s, I don’t know.

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