The Patriots were busy over the weekend, bringing in four players that they hope will make them better in all three phases of the game.
Here’s a look at the newest members of the Patriots:
Jeremy Hill, running back
Hill, 25, played four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, the first three of which he was teammates with current Patriots running back Rex Burkhead. He was drafted by the Bengals in 2014 in the second round out of LSU, where he played two seasons and started 16 of the 23 games he played.
In his rookie season, he rushed for 1,124 yards and 9 touchdowns. The following year, his rushing yardage dipped to 794, but he still ran for 11 touchdowns and caught another one. After gaining 839 yards in 2016, his production decreased dramatically in 2017 because of an ankle injury and the emergence of rookie Joe Mixon.
At 6 feet 1 inch, 233 pounds, he not only has size but quickness. He will compete for carries with Burkhead, James White, Mike Gillislee, and Brandon Bolden.
Shortly after agreeing to his one-year deal, Hill took to Twitter to lobby for Detroit Lions free agent tight end Eric Ebron to join the Patriots.
Come to Pats bro https://t.co/s0p5G0AGdT— Jeremy Hill (@JeremyHill33) March 17, 2018
Adrian Clayborn, defensive end
Clayborn, 6-3, 280, was drafted in the first round with the 20th pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011 out of Iowa. With the Hawkeyes, he was named MVP of the 2010 Orange Bowl for his dominant effort against Georgia Tech.
He played all 16 games in his rookie year in Tampa Bay, but followed up with just three games in his second season after injuring his knee. Clayborn would bounce back in 2013, but injuries would curtail his 2014 season
The Buccaneers chose not to extend Clayborn, allowing him to join the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. While in Atlanta, he played in all but three games over three seasons. He suffered a torn triceps in the divisional round of the playoffs following the 2016 season, and was forced to miss Super Bowl LI.
Having recovered from the injury, Clayborn, 29, played in all 16 games in 2017 and finished with a career-high 9.5 sacks, with six coming in one game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Clayborn’s deal with New England reportedly is for two years and $12 million, and he should be able to improve the pass rush.
Cordarrelle Patterson, returner/receiver
Patterson, 27, was acquired from the Oakland Raiders in a deal that is believed to include the teams swapping late-round picks. He is in the last year of his contract.
As Jim McBride noted, Patterson already has a place in Patriots history, as Minnesota selected him 29th overall out of Tennessee in 2013 with a pick it received in a trade from New England. In return, the Patriots received second-, third-, fourth-, and seventh-round picks. They used that haul to select Jamie Collins, Logan Ryan, and Josh Boyce, and used the seventh-rounder as part of a deal to acquire LeGarrette Blount via trade.
At the 2013 NFL Combine, Patterson was a top performer in the broad jump (128 inches) and the vertical jump (37 inches). After four seasons with the Vikings, he signed a two-year deal with the Raiders in March 2017.
He has not missed a game in his five-year career, recording 163 catches for 1,625 yards and 7 touchdowns. But his biggest impact is on special teams, where he would presumably replace Dion Lewis as the Patriots’ kick returner. Patterson averaged 28.3 yards per kickoff return last season, and his career average of 30.2 yards is second in NFL history to Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (30.6).
He has 18 career touchdowns: six rushing, seven receiving, and five on kick returns.
Patterson will add to a Patriots receiving corps that, when healthy, is deep. Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell are expected back from injury, while Chris Hogan, Brandin Cooks, Kenny Britt, and Phillip Dorsett are also under contract for 2018.
Matt Tobin, tackle
Tobin, 6-6, 302 pounds, was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa. He spent four seasons with the Eagles, appearing in 42 games and making 21 starts.
During the 2017 preseason, the Seattle Seahawks traded a fifth-round pick for Tobin, 27, and a seventh-round pick. Tobin appeared in 15 games for the Seahawks last season.
He would seem to bring versatility to the offensive line, having played both tackle positions and guard.