Cole Strange wondered if draft night call from Patriots was a prank originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Cole Strange was not expected to be selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
All of the expert mock drafts and pundits on TV (as well as team personnel around the league) projected the Chattanooga offensive lineman as a likely Day 2 pick, so somewhere in the second or third round.
Therefore, it's understandable that when Strange got a call on the night of the first round from someone claiming to be from the New England Patriots, he initially thought it might have been some sort of prank.
He quickly found out it wasn't a joke at all.
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Strange's father, Greg Strange, told Chris Mason of MassLive how the interaction unfolded.
“(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?’ 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."
Greg Strange does make a valid point -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's voice is very recognizable.
The Patriots taking Strange at No. 29 overall in the first round ignited plenty of reaction, with many experts being shocked that the Senior Bowl standout was picked so high. Even Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay seemed stunned at the pick in a video that went viral. McVay tried to clarify his comments the next day.
Expectations will be high for Strange during his rookie season, given where he was drafted and the important role he might play. But based on some of his comments to the media since being drafted, it's safe to say he welcomes the challenge.