The most surprising pick of the 2022 NFL Draft's first round is officially under contract.
Offensive lineman Cole Strange, the No. 29 overall pick, has signed his rookie deal with the New England Patriots, the team announced Thursday. Receiver Tyquan Thornton (a second-round pick) and quarterback Bailey Zappe (a fourth-round selection) also signed their rookie contracts, per the team. The Patriots have now signed all ten of their draft picks.
Strange is the 32nd and final first-round selection to sign his rookie contract from the 2022 class.
Strange's selection stunned most everyone on day one of the 2022 NFL Draft both because he came from Chattanooga, and also because he wasn't widely seen as a first-round prospect. In fact, even Strange was shocked, initially asking the Patriots if they were pranking him when calling him to inform him of his selection.
New England has proven it knows what it's doing when it comes to offensive linemen, though, so time will tell whether the joke was truly on everyone else.