New England Patriots’ rookie guard Cole Strange was seen as overdrafted by many, but he is living up to his draft status through five games. When Strange was drafted towards the end of the first round, many across the NFL were left shaking their heads.
Some thought that New England reached for Strange. He surely wasn’t seen as a first round pick by many, but Bill Belichick must’ve seen something in Strange he liked. His draft profile on NFL.com projected him as a second round pick, but some were a bit lower.
Not coming from an elite program surely made him fly under the radar a bit. The Patriots traded longtime guard Shaq Mason back to Tom Brady, so there was an opening on the offensive line. Fortunately, Cole Strange got drafted into a pretty solid situation.
The Patriots were expected to start Trent Brown, David Andrews, Mike Onwenu, and Isaiah Wynn before the season. playing next to Trent Brown and David Andrews surely has helped his transition. A shaky offseason perhaps made people question the drafting of him, but through five games, Strange has settled in nicely to his position on the offensive interior, and is slowly but surely living up to his draft position.
He’s the only Patriots’ starting offensive linemen to not be called for an infraction, and PFF lists that he’s been responsible for two sacks allowed, which isn’t a great number, but given everything else, is nothing to be ashamed off.
Cole Strange excels as a run blocker and has excellent strength, putting up 31 reps on the bench press during the combine. And to be fair to Strange, the Patriots have typically always had a strong offensive line, so questioning the Cole Strange selection perhaps wasn’t the best idea.
Going forward, Strange seems to be locked into a job on the line for the long term, and I personally would think that the team continues to run with their four best linemen in Brown, Strange, Andrews, and Onwenu.