Skip to main content

New England Patriots’ top draft pick in 2022 thought he was being ‘pranked’ with selection

Jason Burgos
new england patriots, cole strange
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots top pick Cole Strange actually thought he was being pranked when the team took him with the 29th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

When the Patriots selected Strange with their first pick during April’s draft, the move was met with surprise from some in the league. Even Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay was caught on video giggling about the surprise selection. For quite a few draft experts, the Tennessee-Chattanooga offensive lineman did not have a first-round grade.

That notion clearly was also shared by Strange himself on draft night, because he too was stunned that New England took him with their first-round pick.

Related: 2022 New England Patriots schedule – Dates, times, and predictions

During a conversation with Masslive.com, that was published on Friday, the center’s father Greg Strange revealed the interesting conversation his son had with New England Patriots brass on the night of the 2022 NFL Draft. And how the voice of the team’s legendary coach Bill Belichick wisened them up to the reality of the moment.

Cole Strange to New England Patriots: ‘Is this a prank?’

new england patriots, cole strange
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

“[Cole] said, ‘Sir, I don’t mean to be disrespectful at all, but I’ve gotta know because I’ve got some crazy friends. Is this a prank?’”, Greg Strange recalled. “The guy said, ‘Hold on just a second.’ And then Bill Belichick got on the phone and of course, unless you’ve been under a rock for the last 20 years, you know Bill Belichick’s voice.

“As soon as I heard Bill Belichick’s voice, Cole and I both started screaming and hugging and acting crazy. Probably saying a bunch of inappropriate stuff. We were so excited. To his credit, you’ve gotta love the guy, Belichick is sitting there and when we got through, the first break he had, he said, ‘Hey Cole, you’ve gotta act like you’ve been there, man.’ It was classic to us. We absolutely loved it.”

While many will look at the selection of Cole Strange as a notable reach at pick 29, when it comes to the decades-long genius of Belichick it is hard to deny his eye for talent. Especially, in players that other talent evaluators around the NFL overlooked.