National Team offensive lineman Cole Strange of UT-Chattanooga, left, and offensive lineman Bernhard Raimann of Central Michigan run through drills during practice for the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in Mobile, Ala. Credit: Butch Dill / AP

Cole Strange used the words “aggressive and relentless” when asked to describe his playing style.

If anyone has watched tape or seen him play, the description fits.

The Tennessee-Chattanooga offensive lineman, taken with the 29th overall pick in the first round, plays with an edge, which is probably a quality that attracted the Patriots.

Strange, who spoke with the media not long after the first round concluded, said he didn’t get that mean streak from modeling his game after any particular lineman from the past or present.

He’s just trying to carve out his own style.

“I’ve always  just wanted to play my own game and make it to where people are saying, ‘I’d love to be able to play like Cole Strange,’’’ the newest Patriot said during a conference call with reporters. “I never really looked at anyone else and wanted to emulate what they did. I wanted to create my own way of playing, which I would say is just aggressive and trying to play nasty … that’s just how the game of football is supposed to be played.”

The FCS product performed well during Senior Bowl week and impressed quite a few teams, not just the Patriots.

Considered a second or third round pick on many boards, Strange agreed that his week in Mobile, Alabama with many of college football’s best players was beneficial to his leap up the board.

“I think that helped quite a bit,” said Strange. “The week of exposure playing against guys who were from SEC schools, Big Ten schools, I think that showed to a lot of coaches and scouts that I was competitive enough to where it wasn’t like, he’s a guy that’s in FCS, and he’s doing well just because the competition isn’t very good. I think it was a really big week for me.”

As for gaining any added motivation by being chosen well ahead of where many draft experts had him pegged, Strange, who stands at 6-foot-5, 307 pounds, didn’t particularly care.

First round, third round, fifth round, he will always have a mindset of proving doubters wrong.

That’s just how he is.

“I’ve held this stance and this thought process from the very beginning, no matter where I got drafted, or where I got picked, I was going to approach it the exact same way with the same chip on my shoulder that I’ve always had. I know this is just the beginning. And whenever I get there, I’m going to have to put in a lot of work. That’s how I’ve always felt, no matter where I went.”

Strange, who should compete for a starting job at left guard, said he would work hard to contribute to the team and “make sure I can add to the culture in a winning way as much as possible.”

Strange, a senior captain and first-team FCS All-American, made 42 starts at left guard, but also had a start at left tackle and center. He said the Patriots’ confidence in him meant a lot. He couldn’t head to Foxboro fast enough.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a Patriot,” he said. “I just cannot wait to get up there and start playing and practicing. I cannot wait.”

Story by Karen Guregian, Boston Herald