Patriots Sign Hard-Hitting Former Lions DB & Notre Dame Star

Getty Jalen Elliott

The New England Patriots are adding depth in the secondary at a rapid pace.

Hours after news broke about the team signing Brad Hawkins, ESPN’s Mike Reiss confirmed the signings of both Hawkins and former Detroit Lions DB and Notre Dame Fighting Irish star Elliott.

Elliott, 24, played eight games for the Lions in 2021. He started one contest making a total of 12 tackles. The 6-foot, 210-pounder gives the Patriots a young prospect to potentially develop, contribute on special teams, or at the very least, a training camp body who might get released in the next few weeks as others get healthy.

The Patriots have also tried to bolster other areas of their team, including signing linebacker Nate Wieland, WR Josh Hammond, and others. As we move closer to the start of the exhibition season, New England is staying busy in the player acquisition department to ensure their readiness for a long campaign.


Patriots Secondary Getting Healthier

The recently signed, former Heisman Trophy finalist Jabrill Peppers made his debut at training camp on Monday. The same can be said for cornerbacks Myles Bryant and Johnathon Jones, per NFL insider Dov Kleinman.

Even with the reinforcements coming, Bill Belichick and Co. have still elected to add more depth in the secondary. These moves could be designed to strengthen the team’s depth and ability to absorb the inevitable injury bug.


Patriots Notes and Quotes

  • Nelson Agholor Has a Big Day of Practice

Per Patriots.com’s Evan Lazar, second-year Patriots WR Nelson Agholor has been showing signs of life of late. Following a disappointing first season with the Patriots, the veteran WR has strung together strong performances in Foxborough.

Lazar said Agholor “blew past” Josh Bledsoe for one of two TD catches in 11-on-11 drills. Patriots fans are likely mildly impressed by this information. They would be understandably cautious with their optimism after Agholor was one of the more disappointing performers in a high-priced free-agent class in New England in 2021.

  • Terrence Mitchell Has Been a Pleasant Surprise in Patriots Camp

After Terrence Mitchell was rated unfavorably by Pro Football Focus, some analytics followers may have been underwhelmed with the Patriots’ decision to sign the veteran defensive back. While the same grains of salt taken with Agholor must be absorbed with all relatively unproven players in training camp–including Mitchell–he has performed better than his PFF rating has suggested.

Mitchell has been a key contributor to a Patriots training camp defense that has, by many accounts, outperformed the offense. Patriots.com’s Alexandra Francisco sat down with Mitchell to learn a bit more about one of the team’s newest members.

Mitchell listed the TV series Power, the movie Paid in Full, and pretzels as some of his favorites. He also called out the mantra “80-20” as the best advice he’s ever been given. It came from his father, who says, “life is 80% mental and 20% physical.”

Mitchell appears to be the sort of even-keeled veteran a team like the Patriots needed ahead of this season. We’ll see if he sticks, considering New England also has Johnathon Jones, Marcus Jones, Jack Jones, Malcolm Butler, Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams, Hawkins, and Myles Bryant on the roster at corner.

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