On Belichick's big night

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On Belichick's big night

So, do you think Bill Belichick's gone to bed yet?

What do I know, but I wouldn't be shocked to find out that he worked straight through the night. That, powered by a case of Diet Coke, a Bon Jovi box set, and the good vibes from a headline stealing first round, Belichick hasn't stopped since Thursday.

You know that scene in Social Network when they're at the dorm party and the programmers are racing almost in a trance through endless pages of code?

That's how I imagine Belichick for the last 24 hours (minus the vodka shots).

He loves it.

And after last night, so does New England.

Forget the feeling of actually getting to experience the first round of an NFL Draft. (You know, a night where the Patriots use a first round pick on something other than an offensive lineman.) Don't get me wrong, it was great. But even better than the Pats moving up twice and using both their picks is the fact that both picks made so much sense.

For the longest time, it's felt like Belichick was just slapping together random names and faces and trying to pass it off as a NFL D. Sometimes, it felt like he was just making it up as he went a long. But after last night, the present and future of this defense is really coming into focus.

Starting in the back, you have Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung at the safety spots. Imagine that? Stability at safety. It's April and we not only know who the starters are, but there's actually reason to be optimistic. McCourty and Chung that works.

Moving up, they now (ideally) have three young, athletic and exciting linebackers with Mayo, Spikes and Donta Hightower (Not too mention, some solid potential with newcomer Trevor Scott). On the line they have Wilfork in the middle, next to Kyle Love, and they'll hopefully bring back Andre Carter on the outside. You have Carter to help bring along Chandler Jones, and do other Andre Carter-type things. He gives you that presence even if Jones isn't immediately ready.

OK, now the cornerbacks are still a little shaky. With McCourty reportedly headed for safety, they have Kyle Arrington, Sterling Moore and a still unproven Ras-I Dowling's coming back from last year. And veteran Will Allen newly in the mix. That's not awful, but they still don't have a legitimate No. 1.

But that's pretty much it. For all the chaos and uncertainty that's surrounded this defense in recent years, Belichick's defensive jigsaw puzzle is finally taking shape.

He'll be back at the table tonight.

Probably not on much sleep.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Tom Brady, Vanilla Ice look like BFFs at Under Armour event

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Tom Brady, Vanilla Ice look like BFFs at Under Armour event

Watch out Julian Edelman, Wes Welker and Alex Guerrero. Tom Brady just might have a new best friend. 

At an Under Armour event that took place on Wednesday, rapper Vanilla Ice snapped a selfie with the Patriots quarterback, who was grinning from ear to ear. 

In South Baltimore, "Armour Day" was held in order to celebrate Under Armour's 20th year in business. Brady was one of many athletes in attendance, including Jordan Spieth, Lindsey Vonn, Deion Sanders, Ray Lewis, Cal Ripken, Boomer Esiason and Roger Clemens. 

Brady is one of the faces of Under Armour, along with Spieth and Warriors guard Steph Curry. When he signed in 2010, he received equity in the company as part of the deal. 

Palazzolo: Mitchell ‘flashes really good downfield ball skills’

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Palazzolo: Mitchell ‘flashes really good downfield ball skills’

Fourth-round pick Malcolm Mitchell is the next in a line of receivers the Patriots have drafted in hopes they’d click with quarterback Tom Brady.

As part of the Quick Slants the podcast draft recap episode, Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus told Phil Perry that Mitchell looks to be a fit in the role previously filled by Brandon LaFell and Brandon Lloyd. Palazzolo said Mitchell could serve as a complement to Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, and Martellus Bennett.

“I think that’s where Mitchell fits in. And I think he does a pretty good job there creating separation on the routes the Patriots need him to run,” Palazzolo said. “He flashes some really good downfield ball skills.”

To hear Palazzolo’s analysis on the rest of the Patriots draft picks, use the Sound Cloud player below or search CSNNE on iTunes.

https://soundcloud.com/csnne/quick-slants-the-podcast-ep-51-2016-patriots-draft-recap