At No. 29, the Patriots pick … Cole Strange?

Admittedly, the following slam against Bill Belichick is written by someone who thinks Mel Kiper is an absolute lunatic.

Kiper spends his entire working hour thinking of the NFL Draft. When the final pick of the 2022 draft is made Saturday, Kiper will start zeroing in on 2024. He had 2023 plotted out six months ago.

I don’t know the arm slot of a single college quarterback. Kiper knows their favorite breakfast cereals.

But, with all due respect to Greatest of all Time, Belichick’s decision to pick an offensive lineman with the 29th pick of the draft … is absurd too impolite?

For the record, Kiper had the guard in question, Cole Strange, at No. 69.

There was nothing polite about the reaction of Sean McVay, head coach of the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. McVay and Rams general manager Les Snead, were conducting a press briefing as the Strange selection went on the board.

First came a burst of laughter.

Second came a rhetorical dagger.

How about that. And we wasted our time watching him thinking he’d be at 104 maybe,” McVay chirped, sending Snead into a giggling spasm.

As for Patriots fans, some have actually disowned their long-held devotion to the creed “In Bill We Trust.”

Cole Strange, offensive lineman, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Belichick traded down from the No. 21 as he does almost as a matter of routine. The Chiefs sent the Pats the No. 29 pick, a third-rounder and a fourth-rounder.

Kansas City used the 21st pick to select a cornerback from Washington, Trent McDuffie.

Defensive backs represent an area in which the Patriots were found lacking last season.

Mostly, though, the Pats need to provide quarterback Mac Jones with players who can catch his passes and, when they have the chance, run fast down the field.

Strange’s scouting reporter includes an entry praising his strong hands. Strong hands are a plus for someone charged with protecting the passer.

Strong hands can also help someone catching the football. Ah, if only Strange had been blessed with a lithe body and foot-speed.

Maybe Belichick has a diabolical scheme for the rest of the draft. Maybe Strange is going to lead to something stranger.

All we know now is that the first offensive lineman in the 2022 NFL Draft went at No. 29.

And that Belichick’s record in making draft selections has not been, shall we say, good.

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