What was your contact with the Patriots prior to the draft?
MB: Obviously, I did the Senior Bowl and the Combine and everything. I did a bunch of different interviews. I had a workout with the defensive line coach. I feel like I did a good job; well, obviously I think I did a pretty good job of that. That was pretty much it.
When was that workout?
MB: That was, I would say, probably a week or two after my pro day.
When you’re this deep into the draft, what’s going through your head before you got that call? Are you wondering whether you're going to go at all?
MB: You know what? It’s just a blessing to be able to play in the NFL. It's been a childhood dream of mine. I stated playing football when I was nine years old and I’ve been waiting for this day. I’m blessed to be able to go to a great organization and an organization I always dreamt about playing with. So I wasn't really too concerned with all of that.
What kind of preconceived notions do you have about the Patriots?
MB: The same one everyone in the world knows: they're a standup organization. I believe they’re the best organization in football, they way they do everything. They have great players, everything like that.
What kind of indication did you get that the Patriots were going to select you?
MB: I didn't necessarily know. I didn't really have an indication. When they called me, I was about the happiest guy in the world to hear Coach Belichick’s voice. I didn’t really have an indication. I was hoping they’d have interest in me, but I didn't really know anything before it happened.
Why did you decide to stay in school after your junior season?
MB: Just to finish my college career. That's something that I promised my mother I would do, as far as getting my degree and everything. I wanted to get closer to doing that. I bled orange and I wanted to be there to finish out with my teammates. I believed that we had something good going. Everything didn't go as we expected, but I’m glad I made the decision to come back.
Can you walk us through your jaw injury last year? Is that part of why you lost weight and could that be why your stats dropped a bit?
MB: No, I wouldn’t tie that in. The jaw situation was a bad time in my life, but I learned a lot from it. I think I became a better man from it and I just hope it will never happen again.
Do you know anybody on the Patriots team?
MB: Yeah, one of my close friends, Tavon Wilson. He called me a couple minutes after they picked me.
What did he tell you?
MB: He said, ‘Welcome to the Patriots.’ We talked and he basically called to welcome me and said he’s glad I’m going to be a teammate once again.
You had six pass breakups last season. Is having long arms and being disruptive at the line of scrimmage something you pride yourself on?
MB: Yes, pass breakups, that’s a play for no gain. Anything I can to do to help the defense, I don’t want to get up in the numbers and everything. Anything I can do help the defense when it comes to pressures, sacks, whatever I can do to help the defense. I’m just going to make sure I have an impact on every play.
Did you ever consider going to Rutgers?
MB: No, I actually didn’t. Never considered going to Rutgers, I was an Illinois guy all the way.
They just drafted a couple of Rutgers guys, so…
MB: I actually worked out with Logan Ryan. I trained with him. I’m pretty familiar with him as well.
Where was that?
MB: Phoenix, Arizona.
You were projected as high as the third round. Was it frustrating to not go that high?
MB: It was a little bit frustrating, but like I said before, I have a great opportunity in front of me. This is a lifelong dream. To even get my name called is a blessing. My family celebrated – you would have thought I was the first pick in the draft, it didn’t matter. The biggest thing is I’m a Patriot now and I have a great opportunity in front of me. I’m going to make the best of it. I’m not too worried about that.
What do you do off the field? Do you have any hobbies?
MB: I’m a big movie guy. I watch a lot of movies. I have three younger siblings so I like to do a lot of stuff with them. They’re getting into sports now and everything. Pretty much hanging out with my youngest siblings and watching a lot of sports. My TV is always on ESPN if I’m not watching movies. That’s pretty much it.
What kind of movies do you like?
MB: All kinds. I like horror movies, action movies, everything. I don’t have a particular type, I feel like I’ve seen every movie there is. I don’t have a particular type, I love watching movies.
Do you have a favorite?
MB: Probably Scarface. That’s probably my all-time favorite movie.