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Ric Serritella and Dane Vandernat discuss roster construction in the offseason

Ric Serritella and Dane Vandernat discuss roster construction in the offseason

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NFL Draft Profile: Cole Strange, Offensive Guard, Chattanooga Mocs

NFL draft profile scouting report for Chattanooga offensive guard, Cole Strange

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#69
Pos: OG
Ht: 6060
Wt: 301
DOB: 7/31/98
Eligible: 2022
Knoxville, TN
Farragut High School

Cole Strange
Chattanooga Mocs


Pros:

Ezring: When evaluating prospects who primarily play against lower levels of competition than do those at big-time programs, it is crucial to see them dominate regularly. A clear NFL talent at the FCS level, Cole Strange is a smooth and quick mover who can be used creatively in the run game and pass protection. He gets to space on screens and outside run concepts; he also mirrors well both before and after engaging. Strange has loose hips to hinge and seal. The Mocs’ standout wins with persistent leg drive and people-moving power at the first and second levels of the defense. Strange has proven himself capable of creating space against higher-level competition. The Tennessee native has a strong grip, above-average core strength, and a finishing mentality. Strange has a solid anchor. When entering engagement, the athletic tackle displays sound weight distribution. He has a very flexible frame. He shoots low and inside punches. Further, Strange maintains a wide base and keeps his feet moving through contact. His pad level has gotten better over time. In the run game, Strange constantly looks for work. He gets to the second level easily and is exceptional engaging in space. The starting guard can even perform reach blocks to the second level. In pass protection, Strange sustains blocks with grip strength, change of direction ability, and power. The high-effort lineman is scheme-versatile.

Cons:

Ezring: Prospects in smaller programs are often difficult to project to the next level, especially in terms of immediate value, because of the inevitable jump in the level of competition they experience in the league. Strange will undoubtedly be subject to such a hindrance. What’s more, his reactive power will not hold up against NFL talent without technical improvement. He is regularly displaced once defenders reach his chest, which happens too often due to his tendency to surrender his frame. Opponents often manage distance against him by stacking or bench pressing before replacing. Strange’s punches are sometimes too wide, especially in 2020. His initial hand placement is particularly problematic. His punches are late at times. Defenders with active hands work through him by stopping him from ever engaging. Similarly, the Mocs’ star played with high pad level in 2020. Strange is perhaps most limited by his angles to engagement. He tends to overset or approach contact too aggressively, taking himself out of contention to land hands by attacking the inside shoulder. Likewise, he often chases defenders instead of cutting them off; in doing so, he puts himself into awkward positions relative to his opponent. Further, Strange’s eyes and vision are too inconsistent in pass protection and the run game. He ostensibly has tunnel vision too frequently. Strange lacks positional versatility.

Summary:

Ezring: Small-school offensive linemen always seem to work their way into mid-to-early round draft slots. One such player could be Chattanooga’s Cole Strange. The athletic lineman boasts impressive movement skills and power. He has shown dominance against high-level competition such as Kentucky. That said, Strange is limited by incomplete technique. His weight distribution and traits should make him an early backup; he has reliable starter potential. 

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Background:

Born on July 31st, 1998 in Knoxville, Tennessee to parents Greg and Kimberly Strange, Devin Cole Strange is one of three siblings alongside his older brother, Dylan, and his younger sister, Anna. An Honor Roll student at Farragut High School, the now-Mocs standout was a defensive star for the Admirals. A two-time team captain and two-time all-district player, Strange earned the defensive MVP award and was named all-bowl team for his performance in the Tennessee-Kentucky Border Bowl. He also played in the Tennessee East-West All-Star Game. As a senior, Strange led the Admirals to a 10-2 record while earning the KIL Defensive Player of the Year award and being named all-state. According to 247Sports Composite Rankings, Strange was a two-star recruit, the 3804th-best player, the 193rd-ranked weak-side defensive end, and the 94th-overall athlete from Tennessee in his class. In his first year at Chattanooga, the athletic lineman redshirted and sat out the year. He made Dean’s List and the A.D. Honor Roll both semesters, was named to the SoCon Honor Roll, and earned a 4.0 GPA in the fall. In 2017, Strange started six games at left guard and played 10. He made the Dean’s List and the A.D. Honor Roll in the fall, was named to the Academic All-SoCon Team and SoCon Honor Roll, and was recognized by Phil Steele as a Freshman All-American. In 2018, Strange started all 11 games at left guard. The academic standout was named Academic All-SoCon, made the Dean’s List and the A.D. Honor Roll both semesters, was placed on SoCon Honor Roll, received the SoCon Commissioner’s Medal, and had a 4.0 GPA both semesters. He was second-team All-Southern Conference according to league coaches. In 2019, the Knoxville native started 11 games at left guard and one at center due to injuries. Again, he was named Academic All-SoCon, received the SoCon Commissioner’s Medal, Made SoCon Honor Roll, and was placed on the Dean’s List and A.D. Honor Roll both semesters. He had a 4.0 GPA in the fall and was recognized as second-team All-Southern Conference by league coaches and media. In the lead-up to a COVID-affected year, Strange was named Preseason Second-Team All-SoCon and Phil Steele FCS Preseason All-American Fourth Team. He started four of five games at left guard that year and was made second-team All-SoCon by league coaches and media. He also won the SoCon Jacobs Blocking Award as the top offensive lineman in the league. The off-the-field star also received CoSIDA Academic All-District and FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team honors. What’s more, he was Academic All-SoCon and made the Dean’s List and A.D. Honor Roll both semesters with back-to-back 4.0 GPAs. He was a SoCon Honor Roll member and was awarded the SoCon Commissioner’s Medal. Before 2021, Strange exercised his COVID eligibility and has been a stellar starter for the Mocs. He graduated with a degree in Psychology in December of 2020. Since stepping foot on Chattanooga’s campus, the former defensive end has experienced a substantial body transformation. In 2016, Strange weighed 260 pounds; in 2017, he weighed 270. By 2018, he was up to 290 pounds. This number stayed constant in 2019. In 2020, Strange was listed at 300 pounds; in 2021, he was slightly up to 301. 


One-Liners

Ezring: Although he must continue to improve his pad level and hand timing, Cole Strange’s clear dominance at the FCS level, power, and movement skills indicate he has the potential to develop into a reliable NFL starter.

Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

Ezring: 7.0 / 8.4


#69
Pos: OG
Ht: 6060
Wt: 301
DOB: 7/31/98
Eligible: 2022
Knoxville, TN
Farragut High School

Cole Strange
Chattanooga Mocs


Pros:

Ezring: When evaluating prospects who primarily play against lower levels of competition than do those at big-time programs, it is crucial to see them dominate regularly. A clear NFL talent at the FCS level, Cole Strange is a smooth and quick mover who can be used creatively in the run game and pass protection. He gets to space on screens and outside run concepts; he also mirrors well both before and after engaging. Strange has loose hips to hinge and seal. The Mocs’ standout wins with persistent leg drive and people-moving power at the first and second levels of the defense. Strange has proven himself capable of creating space against higher-level competition. The Tennessee native has a strong grip, above-average core strength, and a finishing mentality. Strange has a solid anchor. When entering engagement, the athletic tackle displays sound weight distribution. He has a very flexible frame. He shoots low and inside punches. Further, Strange maintains a wide base and keeps his feet moving through contact. His pad level has gotten better over time. In the run game, Strange constantly looks for work. He gets to the second level easily and is exceptional engaging in space. The starting guard can even perform reach blocks to the second level. In pass protection, Strange sustains blocks with grip strength, change of direction ability, and power. The high-effort lineman is scheme-versatile.

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