2021 - Kentucky, ETSU, Mercer
Strange has a ton of meanness in his game. Once he gets locked into inside position, he drives his feet to move his opponent out of the picture. Is a true mauler, showing a ton of physicality in his finishes. Plays through the whistle at all times. Has solid anchor ability with the ability to stand strong and keep the inside gap protected. Also shows lateral agility with the ability to go down the line to make blocks as well as very good flexibility which helps him win with leverage.
Needs to work on cleaning up his pass blocking. He has the quickness for pass sets but doesn't get deep enough. This allows faster defenders to attack his outside with an early advantage. Also needs more consistency in his hand placement and show that he can reset and battle to keep inside position. Could also work on being more consistent with picking up stunts when uncovered. In the run game, he doesn't do the best job of adjusting in open space once he gets to the second level. Can also work on his hand placement in the run game as he was caught with his hands outside on many occasions.
Cole Strange is an intriguing small-school prospect that has been rising up draft boards this off-season. He was a 2-star prospect out of Knoxville, Tennessee and took advantage of a redshirt year as a freshman. Started in left guard as a redshirt freshman and earned recognition on Phil Steele's Freshman All-American Team. Became the full-time starter as a sophomore and was named Second Team All-Southern Conference as a sophomore and junior. Really started to make a name for himself as a senior, earning the SoCon Jacobs Blocking Award for the top offensive lineman in the conference and being named Second Team All-Southern Conference. Decided to come back for a fifth year of eligibility in 2021 and had his best season yet, earning the Jacobs Blocking Award for the second year in a row and being named First Team All-Southern Conference and also receiving All-American recognition by multiple publications. His play was also good enough to earn him an invitation to the Reese's Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, where he was able to take advantage of his opportunities and make a name for himself. At the next level, Strange projects as a developmental guard. He has all the tools that you look for as a starting guard but just needs to continue to prove himself and develop his game to play against a lot tougher competition than he is used to. I see him being drafted between the mid 2nd-3rd round of this year's NFL Draft and being an immediate rotational player that can develop into a reliable starter.
Is a solid athlete. Shows good lateral agility when coming down the line of scrimmage. Uses his flexibility and knee bend to gain leverage. Has adequate quickness to play the position effectively. Does a great job of keeping balance when taking on contact and plays with solid strength. Uses his lower body strength effectively to explode through his blocks.
Big Play Ability
Movement off L.O.S.
Pull & Block Outside
Adjust in Space
Use of Hands
Does an impressive job of creating movement off the line of scrimmage. Keeps his feet churning and finishes his blocks. Has the lateral agility to come downt the line of scrimmage and does a good job of driving defenders out of the gap. Can get outside on reach blocks and drive defenders out of position. Shows the ability to open up and pull but can struggle to make adjustments and react in space at times to pick up blocks. Has strong hands with a solid initial punch but can struggle with keeping inside position at times.
Has a quick initial step in his pass sets but doesn't get much depth. His shallow depth makes it hard for him to adjust and mirror pass rushers at times, giving them a quick advantage on the outside. Plays with solid pad level and has a strong anchor, not allowing many pass rushers to get inside. Hand placement needs some work. He has that strong punch to him but struggles to reset his hands and battle to get inside position. Falls victim to quick hand movement in pass rush moves.
Ability to Combat Inside Move
Is a very tough, hard nosed football player. Has impressive mauling ability. Does a great job of running his feet once he gets position and driving his defender out of the picture. Finishes his blocks with a ton of physicality, laying down an impressive amount of pancake blocks. Plays with a high motor, constantly working and trying to find someone to block if he is uncovered.
Seems to have adequate communication skills at the line of scrimmage. Needs to get more consistent picking up stunts. Can get lost in the action when put in open space, leading to defenders slipping by him on stunts. Does have some position versatility due to getting some snaps at tackle and center but is best suited for guard at the next level.