Cole Strange Getty 2022 NFL Draft
Getty Images

The New England Patriots selected guard Cole Strange from UT-Chattanooga with the No. 29 overall pick, obviously. OK, it was not obvious, at all. But when it comes to head coach Bill Belichick, you need to expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to the NFL Draft.

Fans mostly commented "Who?!" after the Pats made their first round pick and questioned why "The Hoodie" decided to go with the lesser known player to kick off their draft selections, though questioning the six-time Super Bowl champion doesn't always end well.

Belichick, historically a man of few words and someone who does not care about other people's opinions, spoke with the media to discuss the latest addition to his team.

When asked whether Strange was the top player on the board when the Patriots were on the clock at No. 29, Belichick said, "Yeah."

Belichick defended his selection, saying

"Yeah, I mean, we feel like that was a good -- a guy that fits well -- Cole fits well into our team and our system, and obviously think he's a good player. It's a composite of work with any player, so whatever opportunities you have to evaluate him, you evaluate him. ... We took the best option that we had, whether it was at 21 or 29 -- whatever it ended up being, 29. At those two points, we felt like we made the best choice that we could. ... He wouldn't have lasted much longer."

Strange is excited to be joining Belichick's squad, saying at his Gillette Stadium introduction, "I was ecstatic, I was with my dad we were fired up, we both started hootin' and hollerin' ... like I said, it's a dream come true, so we were freaking out."

You know the excitement is real when someone is "hootin' and hollerin'."

The 23-year-old already has dinner plans with quarterback Mac Jones, though Strange does not remember the name of the place they are going. Hopefully the local spot has some good New England clam chowder and lobster so Strange can get a real taste of his new home. 

Strange's visit to Foxboro is the first step of many to get started working with the Patriots, and while his new head coach admits he has a "long way to go, like every player does when he comes into the NFL," Belichick is looking forward to working with him.

When asked what position he expects to play, Strange said, "Whatever Bill Belichick tells me to do"

Belichick had high praise for the UT-Chattanooga alum, saying "he's a pretty athletic guy with good size and smart," adding that Strange was the pick best for the team.

Looking forward for the next two rounds of the draft, Belichick said they will continue making the best choices with what they have to work with.