Rams head coach Sean McVay didn’t have a first-round pick of his own to discuss during a Thursday night press conference, but he was keeping an eye on what other teams were doing and that led to an immediate reaction to the Patriots’ choice at No. 29.
The Pats picked guard Cole Strange and McVay reacted with surprise. He said the Rams “wasted our time watching him, thinking he’d be at 104″ when they make their first selection this year. There were plenty of others who were surprised to see the UT-Chattanooga product come off the board at that point, but Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t agree with that assessment.
Belichick said at his own press conference that Strange “wouldn’t have lasted much longer” and that the team might have taken him at No. 21 if they didn’t trade that pick to the Chiefs for the 29th, 94th, and 121st selections.
“Yeah, well, if we had stayed at 21, then we would have obviously picked somebody,” Belichick said. “Probably a good chance it would have been him. I don’t know, there were several teams that we talked to prior to when we made the trade. There were some other conversations going on there, but ultimately that’s the one we chose. Glad Cole was there when we picked, and as I said, feel like we made the best decision that we could at 21.”
Strange isn’t the first Patriots draft pick to elicit reactions of disbelief, but outside reviews have never been of much importance to Belichick and Strange will get every chance to prove him right on the field.