Count NBC Sports veteran NFL writer Peter King among those not particularly thrilled by the New England Patriots’ decision to select offensive lineman Cole Strange with the 29th overall pick in the first round. In his latest Football Morning in America column, King calls the move a naive one by head coach/general manager Bill Belichick.
The reason behind it was, again, Strange’s supposed availability later in the draft:
2. I don’t get New England. Picking Cole Strange, a decent prospect from Tennessee-Chattanooga, 29th overall was a naïve move by Bill Belichick. There was no indication he’d have gotten picked before New England’s next pick at 54; even if he was picked before then, so what? Look at the 76th pick in the draft, Travis Jones, handle Strange, the 29th pick, at the Senior Bowl:
Here’s new Ravens third-round pick Travis Jones at the Senior Bowl going up against Patriots first-rounder Cole Strange pic.twitter.com/XmdbMXJtEv— Kevin Oestreicher (@koestreicher34) April 30, 2022
The Patriots apparently have a different view of Strange than most in the media do, though. They also did not feel confident he would be around when they were on the clock again in the second round.
“Yeah, he wouldn’t have lasted much longer,” Belichick said during his post-draft press conference on Thursday night.