There is always one selection in the first round of the NFL Draft that leaves people scratching their head. The Seahawks taking Bruce Irvin and the Raiders taking Clelin Ferrell are some of the most memorable examples, and Thursday night brought another shocker, this time courtesy of the New England Patriots.
After trading back, as they so often do, the Pats found themselves sitting at No. 29 and decided to forego the big names still on the board to take Cole Strange, an offensive linemen out of Chattanooga that most expected to be a third or fourth round pick. Neither of the TV broadcasts on ESPN or NFL Network were prepared for the pick with any video clips of Strange, which almost never happens for a first rounder, and it wasn’t just fans or the media that were stunned.
While that was going on, the Rams were holding a press conference with head coach Sean McVay and GM Les Snead, as the defending champs weren’t picking as they have famously dealt away most of their first round picks for years to come. When Strange went off the board, the two had an incredible reaction, laughing and joking that they wasted their time watching his film when they were prepping for the 104th overall pick.
Rams reaction to Patriots selection of Cole Strange at #29.
This is hysterical. pic.twitter.com/ADzqt4lizQ
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) April 29, 2022
It’s not often you get this kind of live reaction from another team about a pick, but it was that big of a shocker to see Strange go off the board. For it to be a guy the Rams had studied tells you everything you need to know about where the rest of the league expected him to be available, as they won’t pick until the end of the third round.