How Mac Jones already is making Patriots draft pick Cole Strange feel at home


Patriots first-round draft pick Cole Strange made his first ever trip to New England on Friday, and he already has dinner plans with quarterback Mac Jones.

Strange was selected by the Patriots with the No. 29 overall pick in the first round Thursday night. It was by far the most surprising pick of Round 1 based on the fact most mock drafts projected the Chattanooga guard would go late second round or some time in the third round.

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The Patriots introduced Strange at Gillette Stadium on Friday afternoon, where he revealed that Jones welcomed him to the team via text and set up a dinner for Friday night.

"He texted me this morning, and I think we're going to eat dinner tonight. I forget the name of the place, but it's somewhere around here," Strange said.

Strange added: “It just felt like I was home honestly. He just texted me and was like, 'Hey man, just wanted to reach out and say what’s up.’ I was like, ‘Thank you. I’m fired up to be a Patriot.'

“We just texted back and forth, and he was asking me how long I was going to stay (in New England). I was like, ‘I don’t have a clue. They just told me to come out here.’ And then he’s like, ‘Well, we’re going to get some dinner.' And I was like, ‘Yes, we are going to get some dinner, Mac.’"

Strange projects to be an important player for Jones. The Chattanooga star could be a Week 1 starter at left guard, where he would play a key role in both pass protection and run blocking. The Patriots lost both of their starting guards from last year -- Shaq Mason and Ted Karras -- back in March. 

We've seen Jones take on more of a leadership role this offseason. In addition to welcoming Strange, he also helped organize throwing sessions in Florida earlier this month, where he threw passes to wide receivers Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker and others. 

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