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3 winners and 3 losers from the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft

Related: Patriots draft Chattanooga guard Cole Strange with the 29th overall pick

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The first night of the 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone, creating a number of memorable moments for us draft fans. Chief among those memorable moments was The New England Patriots’ decision to trade out of the 21st overall selection, moving back eight spots and selecting Chattanooga offensive lineman Cole Strange.

The decision to make that pick caused a wave of emotion to flow across New England, making for some clear winners and losers on the night. Let’s take a look at those influenced most by New England’s moves on Thursday.

Loser: Bill Belichick

Let’s just get it out of the way, shall we?

Bill Belichick is the final decision maker on all football matters in New England, meaning he is the face of all justified or unjustified hate and love that comes with the territory. Thursday night was one of those nights where the negative reaction far outweighed any positives.

By drafting Cole Strange in the first round, the Patriots are believed to have reached for a player who plays a position that was only viewed as a need because of their decision to move on from Shaq Mason earlier this offseason. Strange could be a great player, and NFL teams may have had an eye on him in the earliest stages of day two, but the need to draft a guard shouldn’t have been there in the first place. As we mentioned before, that lies on on Belichick.

Loser: OL Cole Strange

The NFL Draft represents the biggest night of many prospects’ lives. They’re ultimately living out their dream in real time, while all of us watch from a far and spew their opinions without consequence.

Im sure Strange wasn’t scouring his Twitter timeline — he had bigger fish to fry — but the negativity surrounding his selection put a damper on what was undoubtedly a great night for him and his family.

He’ll sign that big, fat, first-round contract soon, so I guess he’ll be OK.

Winner: QB Mac Jones

They went out and made a move to protect their young QB, that can’t be scoffed at.

Mac Jones is heading into what will probably end up being the most important year of his career. As Bill Belichick reminds us every year, the rookie to sophomore jump in the NFL represents the time in which players often improve the most. The selection of Strange was made to ensure that his development wouldn’t be hindered behind a thrown together offensive line.

Across the League

Winners: The New York Jets. We like to make fun of them over here, but the Jets had a great night at the draft on Thursday. By coming away with Ahmad Gardner, Garrett Wilson, and Jermaine Johnson, they addressed three premium positions (cornerback, wide receiver, edge defender) and got the all important fifth year option that comes with a first round pick. IF they hit, Thursday could end up being known as a franchise altering night.

Winners: The New York Giants. In many people’s opinion, the Giants came away with the best edge defender and best offensive tackle in this entire draft. The cherry on top? They did so without trading up. General manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll are off to a great start together.

Losers: The Minnesota Vikings. According to our very own Rich Hill’s trade chart, the Minnesota Vikings made a draft day trade with a division rival in which they lost more than 40 points in trade value. They moved back 20 spots not just once, but twice in the process. Yikes.