Many NFL analysts, in addition to Rams coach Sean McVay, believed Patriots first-round selection Cole Strange would go later than him in this year’s NFL Draft.
The pick drew criticism from fans and league analysts, but Patriots captain Devin McCourty caught on Twitter Friday to let Strange know that he thinks the Chatanooga freshman, with his style of play and choice of facial hair, will fit in very well on the team.
“They said I was a bad draft pick too,” McCourty wrote. “Welcome to (New England), you’ll fit in well with that bearded brother.”
McCourty was selected with the 27th overall pick in 2010 after his college career at Rutgers. Since then, the Patriots captain has won three Super Bowls and been named an NFL Second Team All-Pro three times.
It’s safe to say that Strange won’t forget all the talk surrounding his poor selection.
He told reporters on Friday after being introduced to Gillette Stadium that he hangs on to slights, real or perceived, to stay motivated, drawing the idea from a tactic described by Michael Jordan in the documentary ‘The Last Dance’. .
“He talked about how he would make up these narratives just to upset him or make him angry so he played with a little more fire,” Strange said of Jordan. “I was like, I feel like I did this, but I never dutifully put a label on it: like, this is what I do. I guess I always try to play like that. I feel like that’s how the game of football is supposed to be played.
Strange spoke more about his style of play on Thursday night and that he is looking forward to bringing his aggressive brand of football to Foxborough.
“I always wanted to play my own game and get to where people say, ‘I would love to play like Cole Strange,'” the Patriots first-round pick said. “I never really looked at anybody else and I wanted to emulate what they were doing. I wanted to create my own way of playing which is aggressive and trying to play mean, which is the way I think that the game of football is meant to be played.
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