Patriots select OG Cole Strange

Ferm Sheller

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Don't want to sidetrack the thread too much so if you want to debate over PM that's cool...but if Strange has a career as solid as Brown I think that's a win. Obviously different positions but Brown has played in 106 of a possible 113 regular season games, and started in 97 of those. He was also a starter on 2 super bowl winning teams. And I get that the following metrics are not an exact science but I do think they inform us of something - how was drafted 32nd, and per Pro-Football-Reference his approximate draft value* is 30th, and his career value** is 22nd
*defined as accumulated value for team that drafted him
**overall career value
Okay, that's fair. In hindsight, I think that I confused him with Easley, and should have lumped Brown in with Wynn and Michel as "underwhelming" or "meh" first round picks, not a "complete bust".
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I thought the McVay thing was harmless fun. Maybe Strange should be motivated by it, but I can’t imagine Belichick or anyone associated with the Pats really gives a damn about what other teams think of their draft.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I was prepared to be appropriately outraged at the McVay video but I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I don't think he meant it as mocking the team or the player, more just expressing surprise over a guy they liked going way sooner than they anticipated. If anything it sort of validates their interest in the guy.

Why they had a full press conference set up and were reacting real time to the draft when they had no pick yesterday is another question.
 

Fishercat

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I do think people are reading too much into McVay’s words. In some ways I legit think he was trying to be complimentary.

You have to realize that the pick he mentions is literally the Rams’ first pick in this draft. He wanted the guy with the first pick they had.
It's also probably worth adding in that it seems from many accounts that his athletic measurements and Senior Bowl performances helped him a lot. It's quite possible the Rams were looking at him early either with their first pick or maybe even a trade up and then he escalated up the charts of other teams so it was more a curiosity / can't believe we thought it might happen reaction. Kinda like if you're doing a Fantasy Football draft and you throw a player into your queue and he goes 20 picks before you.

I'll drink the kool aid on this one until proven wrong, I like the choice given the current offensive composition of the team. I just hope they can use their current stash of picks in the middle rounds to do some real damage.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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So basically, whatever the mock rankings put them, you have a huge "upper middle class" of draft prospects, with the Patriots including Strange in there. Maybe they loved Johnson and once he was off the board they didn't like their odds beyond Strange. Or maybe they liked 2-3 guys at the interior and hated the rest of the draft. One round is a long time if you like a guy. Under these assumptions the only way this pick was really bad is if no one else had Strange rated among the top 50+. That might be possible, but it only takes one team to f you here.

Similarly, if the pool of talent is relatively flat, you're not going to get too much more interest in a trade back. And there's the whole contract aspect of a first rounder.
It could also be that they not only had Strange with a high grade but they liked him a lot more than any other interior lineman left in the draft pool, whereas they have a lot of LBs, EDGEs, and DBs they like with a very good chance of being able to grab a couple of them in the 2/3/4 rounds.

At the end of the day, next year is unlikely to be a big jump year for the Patriots anyway given their cap/roster situation. Probably the single most important thing is keeping Mac upright and putting him into a position to keep developing. So if they want to prioritize OL, I'm fine with it.
 

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Shaq Mason at an almost 10M cap number with the level of play he was bringing at this point was not good. He was a cut/restructure candidate for some of us heading into the new league year given the Pats’ cap situation.
This is the thing that infuriates me about everyone who makes the claim “BB gave away Shaq for peanuts.” No, they got a team to take on Shaq’s contract and opened up cap space. His play was trending down and didn’t justify his contract, but it wasn’t bad enough to prevent a team from taking him on.

As for Strange, I’m agnostic on position value (outside of special teams-only players before the 4th round) and he seems to fit a team profile and need and BB has my trust on OL picks. Sexy, no, but could end up a very good player at an underrated position (seriously anyone who says guard isn’t important needs to have their head examined). If he’s a whiff, it’s not going to set the franchise back 5 years.
 
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Shelterdog

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If BB had picked a defender at 21, then bundled later picks to move up to 29 to grab Strange much too early (according to conventional wisdom), I would be thrilled. Strange is an elite athlete for the position, so his success will turn on fundamentals; there’s no one I trust more than BB and his team to assess that.

But I think it was a mistake not to take a swing on a high-potential defensive player when several were available, given the needs just about everywhere on that side of the ball.
Given the number of people who say this is a particularly weak first round draft, there are only 15 legit first rounders, etc. I think what the NFL (and BB) are telling us is that they actually don't see Johnson/Lloyd/Elam/McDuffie as particularly high potential players. Johnson for instance was touted as being a potential top ten pick, but at the end of the day if folks really saw him as a high potential edge player he's not lasting to the late twenties.
 

Ferm Sheller

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I recall much puzzlement and many gasps when Mankins was drafted, but Kiper immediately said something to the effect of that a number of GMs just groaned because they loved the guy and wanted to take him in the second round. Maybe that's where McVay was coming from? (Although McVay was hoping that he'd last until 104, not second round.)
 

lexrageorge

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At the very least, can we agree that it's better to have Strange at #29 and KC's 3rd and 4th round picks than it is to have Strange at #21 (which, let's face it, could have happened)?
Maybe. I always take words like "We would have taken him at 21..." with a grain of salt. They may have ranked one of the intervening players slightly higher, but there is no point in stating that publicly and possibly irritating the player you did pick. It is certainly possible they liked Strange best of all the remaining players at 21, but we probably will not know that for a long time if ever. I get the feeling that those of us (myself included) waiting for that ultimate Belichick tell-all autobiography will be disappointed.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Given the number of people who say this is a particularly weak first round draft, there are only 15 legit first rounders, etc. I think what the NFL (and BB) are telling us is that they actually don't see Johnson/Lloyd/Elam/McDuffie as particularly high potential players. Johnson for instance was touted as being a potential top ten pick, but at the end of the day if folks really saw him as a high potential edge player he's not lasting to the late twenties.
Every year there are guys like that who slip and we beg* for the Pats to take them and more often than not they turn into nothing. For some reason the name Sergio Kindle always sticks in my head probably because he went to the Ravens who nearly always seem to draft based on consensus rankings.

*To be fair, we did this for Barmore and so far it looks good.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Maybe. I always take words like "We would have taken him at 21..." with a grain of salt.
I do too as there's no way that BB would say that a guy he drafted at 29 wasn't worth the 21 pick (that'd be foolish), and we'll never know for sure, but I think we can agree that BB didn't covet the guys taken at 21-28 (or at least didn't rate them much higher than Strange), because if he did, he wouldn't have traded down. So, if he was stuck with the 21 pick because he couldn't find a trade partner, I think that there's a real chance that he'd have taken Strange there.
 

Mystic Merlin

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The Athletic hates this pick (which makes me maybe like it more?)


There is a piece of me that wonders whether Bill sees something in Strange’s smarts (as opposed to his pure athletic ability) that made him want to jump here. It sounds like he at least contemplated picking him at 21 before trading back – which, combined with the Mason trade, suggests to me that perhaps he envisions Strange as more of a Thuney replacement than just a plug and play guy. We’ll see I guess. But it would explain Bill placing a higher valuation on Strange than, say, Kiper.
It’s worth noting about the draft grade columns that they have a strong incentive to take some strident positions, good or bad.

Then you have a case like Evan Lazar, who put a LOT of time into researching the prospects and analyzing the Pats’ needs and was incensed on his live cast of the pick. When you say as a media member ‘I’m gonna try to be professional’ about a draft selection right before you launch, you might be too invested.
 

tims4wins

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Every year there are guys like that who slip and we beg* for the Pats to take them and more often than not they turn into nothing. For some reason the name Sergio Kindle always sticks in my head probably because he went to the Ravens who nearly always seem to draft based on consensus rankings.

*To be fair, we did this for Barmore and so far it looks good.
Wilfork too, way back when.

Regarding the "reach" aspect, I have a hard time seeing this as some huge reach given how he tested. He had the 7th highest RAS among guards in the last 35 years. We are talking 1,300 players. 7 out of 1,300.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I recall much puzzlement and many gasps when Mankins was drafted, but Kiper immediately said something to the effect of that a number of GMs just groaned because they loved the guy and wanted to take him in the second round. Maybe that's where McVay was coming from? (Although McVay was hoping that he'd last until 104, not second round.)
Chris Berman, having done no research outside whoever was in the green room, famously said of the Mankins pick something like “Well, he’s a football player.”
 

BaseballJones

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I was prepared to be appropriately outraged at the McVay video but I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I don't think he meant it as mocking the team or the player, more just expressing surprise over a guy they liked going way sooner than they anticipated. If anything it sort of validates their interest in the guy.

Why they had a full press conference set up and were reacting real time to the draft when they had no pick yesterday is another question.
Well, they have to be ready in case a possible trade comes along.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Well, they have to be ready in case a possible trade comes along.
Oh I understand they have to be in their war room monitoring even if they don't expect to pick, I just thought it was strange they were yucking it up with the media and reacting in real time to draft selections. I didn't expect them to be home in bed.

Then again my viewpoint on what is "normal" media access and interaction is heavily informed by BB's tenure here, obviously there are other approaches.
 

Shelterdog

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The Athletic hates this pick (which makes me maybe like it more?)

There is a piece of me that wonders whether Bill sees something in Strange’s smarts (as opposed to his pure athletic ability) that made him want to jump here. It sounds like he at least contemplated picking him at 21 before trading back – which, combined with the Mason trade, suggests to me that perhaps he envisions Strange as more of a Thuney replacement than just a plug and play guy. We’ll see I guess. But it would explain Bill placing a higher valuation on Strange than, say, Kiper.
Just to Pick on Kiper it's not clear that he actually does muct of his own talent evaluation and instead he talks to a ton of agents, draft analysts, and NFL insiders and just kind of comes up with a reasonable version of the consensus wisdom.

I'd be curious to see what answer you would get if you asked five random NFL offensive line coaches what they think about strange. From everything we're seeing I think the answer would be hell yes. This is actually not that complex a pick--he seems like a great prospect from a smaller school and no one would be saying a word if he was picked 35 insteads of 29.
 

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I don't know if the pick will turn out to be a good one or not. I don't know if Strange will be a good player regardless of the where he was picked.

I do know that when Sean McVay faced a Belichick team in the Super Bowl he got absolutely pantsed in front of the whole country, so his reaction means nothing and he should probably STFU and think that perhaps he can learn something when the guy that exposed him for a title makes a pick that seems unusual.
Thank you. This is exactly what I’ve been thinking all along. I have no fucking idea if this guy is gonna be any good - because I never do - but Sean McVay cackling about the pick is like, STFU youngster, the last time you played belichick you got fucking mopped. Settle down sparky.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Oh I understand they have to be in their war room monitoring even if they don't expect to pick, I just thought it was strange they were yucking it up with the media and reacting in real time to draft selections. I didn't expect them to be home in bed.

Then again my viewpoint on what is "normal" media access and interaction is heavily informed by BB's tenure here, obviously there are other approaches.
Check out the tweets from the Athletic beat reporter (some shared below):

View: https://twitter.com/jourdanrodrigue/status/1519928252340469760?s=21&t=zHYZdWrD1AJra1JuFw0kWg


View: https://twitter.com/jourdanrodrigue/status/1519756502818467840?s=21&t=zHYZdWrD1AJra1JuFw0kWg


They FEELIN’ themselves.
 

The Social Chair

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That was a fun moment. You're all too precious about Belichick and the Pats, relax. I also don't think McVay (and the rest of the NFL) are intimidated by a Belichick without Tom Brady.
 

moondog80

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The problem with wondering about the "consensus" on Strange (or anyone) is that is doesn't matter what the average position is for a guy on the other 31 boards. It takes only other team to like him enough to swoop in and get him, either with their own pick or a trade. Trust your draft board and take the best guy. I love trading down when it makes sense, but unless you are moving down only one or two picks or have a ton of intel, it will always come with the risk that your guy isn't there the next time you pick.
 

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Wynn's biggest issue is that he's dealt with unpredictable, random injuries: popped his Achilles in his first training camp, untimely turf toe injury his 2nd year, and missed the last 6 games of his 3rd with a knee injury. Disappointing, but not sure I would put him in the true bust or even "miss" category.

I tend to be skeptical of reports that claim player X will be there 30 or 40 picks later; maybe the Rams didn't rate him very highly, but all it takes is one other GM out of 31 to take him off the board. If Strange ends up a perennial Pro Bowler (for sure a high bar for any player picked at 29), then the fact the Pats took a guard/center in the first round will matter a lot less.

While I don't expect Bill to use all of his remaining 10 picks, I will be seriously disappointed if he punts most of the Day 2/3 picks into 2023. I'd like to see the Pats consolidate some of their capital and move up and grab some defensive players, as they really need to get some youth onto the defensive roster sooner rather than later.
I think this bolded bit is incredibly salient. It doesn't matter if 30 teams view a guy as X value, if the Pats and one other team, who might likely be picking in front of the Pats, view at a higher value than that. I look at the next few picks and the one that jumps out at me is Tampa Bay at 33. They just lost a multi-year starter at LG, a guy who is basically as close to a carbon copy of Strange as you might find.
Furthermore, none of the pundits, and none of us here on this board, have any inkling about how the various other teams view players. I have to think that a huge part of every draft-day move is predicated on how good your intel on what other teams might be doing.
In the next dozen or so picks, there are a number of teams where Bill + Judge + Patricia might have better knowledge than others: Titans, Giants, Texans, so he may have had a good sense as to who might have had their eyes on Strange.
The extra year option is nice too.
I bet teams must be able to place value on that where the drop from 32 to 33 is far greater than any other single drop due solely to that 5th year option.
 

Shelterdog

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The problem with wondering about the "consensus" on Strange (or anyone) is that is doesn't matter what the average position is for a guy on the other 31 boards. It takes only other team to like him enough to swoop in and get him, either with their own pick or a trade. Trust your draft board and take the best guy. I love trading down when it makes sense, but unless you are moving down only one or two picks or have a ton of intel, it will always come with the risk that your guy isn't there the next time you pick.
This is such an important point that one would assume is obvious. You keep hearing people say versions of "he's a late second/third round pick, they should have passed at 29 and gotten him at 54"--to which the response is, a la Ricky Bobby's dad, "that makes no sense, somebody else could have drafted him at 53 or 52 or 51 or hell, 33"
 

patinorange

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I do think people are reading too much into McVay’s words. In some ways I legit think he was trying to be complimentary.

You have to realize that the pick he mentions is literally the Rams’ first pick in this draft. He wanted the guy with the first pick they had.
Hard to determine in the short clip I watched, but that was the way I took it. They wanted him and Bill beat him to it.
 

SMU_Sox

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I think Cole Strange was going early 2nd OR to CIN or MIN. Here is why:

~90% of NFL teams primarily run some sort of zone scheme. There are 2 zone IOLs who you feel comfortable starting or picking in round 2, Cole Strange and Dylan Parham. Strange is the grittier, tougher, and more Patriots type of guy of those two. IOL is not strong at the top of the class this year. There are a lot of late round 3 and day 3 guys there but there were like 3-5 round 1-2 IOL zone scheme guys TOTAL which is very low. IOL is a position of need for a ton of teams. It's in short supply this year at the top and middle-top.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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This is the thing that infuriates me about everyone who makes the claim “BB gave away Shaq for peanuts.” No, they got a team to take on Shaq’s contract and opened up cap space. His play was trending down and didn’t justify his contract, but it wasn’t bad enough to prevent a team from taking him on.
When the trade was announced, I was astounded that all they pulled in for Shaq was a 5th rounder. But I'm also certain it's not like the Pats took the first offer they heard. They clearly decided they wanted to move on from Shaq, presumably called a ton of teams to see what they'd offer, and Tampa's 5th-rounder turned out to be the best they could get. So it wasn't only the Pats that valued him as a 5th-rounder.
 

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A lot of the criticism in the draft grades call out his advanced age (he's 24). I'm not sure how to judge this criticism. Is it that they fear he has no room to get better since he's 24? Wouldn't the fact that he played at Chattanooga indicate he's going to get better coaching / nutrition / weight program? He also switched to OL in his freshman season so there is obvious room to grown at the position as well. If the criticism is that he'll be old when his first contract is up, I don't get that either since the Pats won't pay him a second contract anyway. I remain worried about CB/LB but think this will be viewed as a solid pick 2-3 years down the line.
 

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When I was younger my combination of interests meant everyone assumed I would someday be a sportswriter of some kind, and the older I get the happier I am that it never came to pass. Outside of a select few, the job seems to turn everyone's brain to mush and the Twitter age has only accelerated it.
 

ifmanis5

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I think Cole Strange was going early 2nd OR to CIN or MIN. Here is why:

~90% of NFL teams primarily run some sort of zone scheme. There are 2 zone IOLs who you feel comfortable starting or picking in round 2, Cole Strange and Dylan Parham. Strange is the grittier, tougher, and more Patriots type of guy of those two. IOL is not strong at the top of the class this year. There are a lot of late round 3 and day 3 guys there but there were like 3-5 round 1-2 IOL zone scheme guys TOTAL which is very low. IOL is a position of need for a ton of teams. It's in short supply this year at the top and middle-top.
Yes and BB agreed with you- he said so last night which is not something he often says. If the decision was to take him, then they needed to do that when they did.
The hard part to swallow is to see all the defensive studs go off the board which were also a team need. Hopefully they can address that side of the ball soon.
 

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I have no issues with the talent identification in Strange. As mentioned in multiple posts, Belichick and the Pats have a pretty strong record with OL drafts through the years. Can't really quibble with the selection.

The concern I have is that for most (or all?) of those previous drafts targeting OL in the upper rounds, the players were subsequently entrusted to Dante Scarnecchia for development.

Today, we are talking about being entrusted to Matt Patricia for development.

Draft eval: very good.

Development?: my stomach is really queasy.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I mean, just think about the leap of logic Ben made there. It's astoundingly idiotic. "Even if this guy turns into a Hall of Fame player it's a bad pick."

Volin might be the dumbest writer I've even seen. Legitimately stupid.
 

scott bankheadcase

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I read a lot of the 49ers beat writers (Niners fan) and there's a lot of talk that the Niners were looking at Strange for their second rd pick (they didn't have a first, Lance). So, the idea that he would have just fallen to the Patriots in rd 2 or 3 is probably not true.

I won't be surprised to see SF use some of their comp picks to move up in rd 2 tonight and take Cam Jurgens (the other guy they are reported to have liked) now that there's been a run on IOL.
 

Ferm Sheller

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When I was younger my combination of interests meant everyone assumed I would someday be a sportswriter of some kind, and the older I get the happier I am that it never came to pass. Outside of a select few, the job seems to turn everyone's brain to mush and the Twitter age has only accelerated it.
The trouble is, there are really only two ways to achieve fame/success in that field: (1) work very hard and become great at it, or (2) routinely spew outrageous shit. No need to pay any attention to the shit-spewers.
 

moondog80

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Didn't read the article because of paywall; I assume Volin's take is that regardless of how it turns out, it was inefficient because they could have gotten Strange later on with a less valuable pick. It's valid if we can assume that Strange would still be available later on but of course, that's ultimately unknowable, and to the degree that it can guessed, Belichick almost certainly has a better handle on those odds then Volin.
 

DJnVa

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I read a lot of the 49ers beat writers (Niners fan) and there's a lot of talk that the Niners were looking at Strange for their second rd pick (they didn't have a first, Lance). So, the idea that he would have just fallen to the Patriots in rd 2 or 3 is probably not true.

I won't be surprised to see SF use some of their comp picks to move up in rd 2 tonight and take Cam Jurgens (the other guy they are reported to have liked) now that there's been a run on IOL.
What you're saying is that he's bait to get Deebo?
 

Van Everyman

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I mean, just think about the leap of logic Ben made there. It's astoundingly idiotic. "Even if this guy turns into a Hall of Fame player it's a bad pick."

Volin might be the dumbest writer I've even seen. Legitimately stupid.
Having blown his moment to leverage the Globe gig into a national gig bc of his idiocy during DFG, he is now stuck at the Globe. Which sucks.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Volin's take is exactly the kind of stupid shit that makes me only half watch the draft. The qualify of the player doesn't matter, the only thing that matters is they drafted a guy that draft boards had going later, ergo they did not get "value" for the pick. Drives me fucking nuts.
 

Cotillion

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Everyone lamenting the loss of Mason and other o-line players I think forget how bad the line was at times How many times during the season did you find yourself saying "man.... Mac could be good if the line doesn't get him killed"
Wynn's biggest issue is that he's dealt with unpredictable, random injuries: popped his Achilles in his first training camp, untimely turf toe injury his 2nd year, and missed the last 6 games of his 3rd with a knee injury. Disappointing, but not sure I would put him in the true bust or even "miss" category.

I tend to be skeptical of reports that claim player X will be there 30 or 40 picks later; maybe the Rams didn't rate him very highly, but all it takes is one other GM out of 31 to take him off the board. If Strange ends up a perennial Pro Bowler (for sure a high bar for any player picked at 29), then the fact the Pats took a guard/center in the first round will matter a lot less.

While I don't expect Bill to use all of his remaining 10 picks, I will be seriously disappointed if he punts most of the Day 2/3 picks into 2023. I'd like to see the Pats consolidate some of their capital and move up and grab some defensive players, as they really need to get some youth onto the defensive roster sooner rather than later.
Vikings, Titans, Falcons, and Commanders all had OL needs in second round before Pats picked again.

Pats really couldn’t let themselves drop much further before a guy that was 7th highest RAS since 1987 could potentially be taken once we got past the completely arbitrary label of a first round pick (ignoring contract differences).

I really think people are overestimating how much longer Strange might have been available.
 

Mooch

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Didn't read the article because of paywall; I assume Volin's take is that regardless of how it turns out, it was inefficient because they could have gotten Strange later on with a less valuable pick. It's valid if we can assume that Strange would still be available later on but of course, that's ultimately unknowable, and to the degree that it can guessed, Belichick almost certainly has a better handle on those odds then Volin.
It's also his take that OG is the least important position on the line which is a completely ridiculous assertion. Losing a key part of your Center/Guard combo can absolutely KILL an offense.
 

Bowser

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The Athletic hates this pick (which makes me maybe like it more?)
This is such an important point that one would assume is obvious. You keep hearing people say versions of "he's a late second/third round pick, they should have passed at 29 and gotten him at 54"--to which the response is, a la Ricky Bobby's dad, "that makes no sense, somebody else could have drafted him at 53 or 52 or 51 or hell, 33"
Just want to echo this point. The Athletic article suggests the Pats "misread the market." I hate this phrase. A market works on a price system that allows consensus to be formed about the relative value of things. That's not what happens here. There is no market. There is no consensus -- just a bunch of "expert" observers giving their opinions and teams who have ZERO incentive to let the public know what they really think about a player. Also, McVay is an ass.