Cole Strange ticks all the boxes for the Bears.
The Tennesssee-Chattanooga offensive lineman is 6-foot-6, but not an overweight monster like some of the offensive linemen in this draft. So the 304-pound inside offensive lineman can block the wide zone pattern that Luke Getsy’s offense will use in Chicago.
He is known to be a heady player who is on the wrong side.
And he said he met the Bears at the combine after learning he met them at the Senior Bowl. He had also met with the Chargers, Vikings, Ravens, 49ers, Raiders and Bengals at the combine for formal talks.
Now, according to Jacob Infante, the Bears have shown him around Halas Hall. It’s starting to look serious and it should because Strange’s profile looks a lot like new Bears center Lucas Patrick, except the former Packer wasn’t drafted and Strange is expected to leave on day two.
During the combine, Strange expressed the thought that he would be a perfect player for the offense the Bears will lead. It’s not just them, as nearly every team he’s gone to the combine with has also performed this style of run blocking.
“That was really the main thing we ran in Chattanooga,” said Strange, who estimated his team executed that blocking system 85% of the time. “I feel like that would probably be the best fit for me.
“I feel like I could adapt to any type of diet, but that’s what I’m most comfortable with.”
Strange is a relative newcomer to the line game. He played defensive end and linebacker in high school football.
“So I didn’t really play offensive line until I got into college and Chattanooga moved me to offensive line,” he said. “I was 6-4, 6-5, 250. So maybe I wasn’t fast enough for linebacker, maybe not big enough for the defensive line. But regardless, I I haven’t been recruited too much.
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“As soon as I got to Chattanooga, they put me on the offensive line.”
With the Bears, a change of position wouldn’t be a problem like it might be with other teams. Their biggest offensive line opening is right guard.
“I really just played guard,” Strange said. “I played a bit in the middle and a bit in the tackle, but it was more because we had injuries.”
Everywhere Strange plays he hears the same thing and admits he hopes that’s what he hears.
“I think I would like them to say I play physical and mean,” he said. “I would like them to come away thinking that. I have no doubts about that.”
Not being a 5-power team, Tennessee-Chattanooga is often viewed with suspicion by those looking for blue bloods in the draft.
However, the Mocs have definitely had their share of NFL players over the years. There were 31 drafted and 23 signed as free agents.
This list includes Joe Kopcha, a three-time All-Pro Bears guard in the 1930s, and a very recent Bears cornerback named Buster Skrine. The Bears also had former Titans and Mocs guard Corey Levin on their 2020 training camp roster, but cut him.
Plus, there was that 49ers draft pick who made the Pro Footall Hall of Fame, but chose not to attend the ceremony — Terrell Owens.
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