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Mel Kiper Jr. Names The Biggest "Reach" Of The First Round

A general view of the stage at the NFL Draft as the Patriots are set to pick.

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The New England Patriots logo is seen on a video board during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The first round of every NFL Draft always features at least a few players that analysts judge to be "a reach" and picked too highly. For Mel Kiper Jr., this year's reach was an obvious one.

Taking to Twitter last night, Kiper dubbed the New England Patriots' pick of Chattanooga guard Cole Strange a "big reach" from his Big Board. He said he had Strange as an early third-round pick but the Patriots took him 29th.

"Big reach by the Patriots on my Big Board. I have Cole Strange at No. 69, and they took him at No. 29. Good player, fills a hole, but this is very high," Kiper wrote.

Kiper isn't the only one who thinks the Patriots reached by taking Strange. The Los Angeles Rams brass openly mocked the picked during their draft party, boasting that they didn't have Strange on the top 100 of their own board.

The New England Patriots have always operated differently and had draft evaluations on players that are wildly different from other teams.

But for the better part of 20 years, it's worked - and the Patriots have reaped the benefit with playoff appearances in 18 of the last 21 seasons.

That isn't to say the Patriots haven't made bad draft picks during the Bill Belichick era. But the mistakes they've made don't cripple the franchise the way others do.

Will Cole Strange prove to be a boom or a bust?