The New England Patriots selected UT-Chattanooga offensive lineman Cole Strange at No. 29 overall during the 2022 NFL Draft. This surprised more than a few people, including the Los Angeles Rams staff.
Rams head coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead were in the middle of a media availably session and Snead was in the middle of answering a question. McVay was watching the TV behind the media and interrupted him to say "Strange just went." There was laughter in the room as they were both clearly distracted now.
"Oh my UT-Chattanooga to the first round," said Snead while adjusting the microphone.
The Patriots had traded their 21st pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for picks 29, 94 and 121. They also still had No. 54 in the second round, so if they wanted to get Strange before getting into the 100s, they certainly had a chance. However, they decided to take Strange off the board early, which lead to McVay admitting the Rams had been interested in him.
"How about that? And to think we wasted our time watching him, thinking he'd be available at 104, maybe," the Rams coach said.
The 6-foot-5, 307-pound interior lineman was a five-year starter for the Mocs. He spent most of his time at Chattanooga in the left guard position, which should help with New England's need for guard depth. Strange is a talented player who increased his draft stock in the Senior Bowl. However, he was not projected to be a first round pick.