(Eighth in a position-by-position look at the Patriots leading into the draft)
Personnel: Richard Seymour, Ty Warren, Jarvis Green, Mike Wright, Le Kevin Smith
Short-term need: Minor. The top of the depth chart returns from 2008.
Long-term need: High. Seymour, Green and Smith are entering the final year of their contracts.
Quick hit: In the base 3-4 defense, the ideal defensive end has defensive tackle-type size (6-5, 310), long arms and strength to play the 5 technique (lined up over the shoulder of the offensive tackle). An unsung position of sorts which helps control the line of scrimmage.
Prospects that could be on the radar in the draft or rookie free agency: Rulon Davis (California), Pannel Egboh (Stanford), Jarron Gilbert (San Jose State), John Gill (Northwestern), Ziggy Hood (Missouri), Tyson Jackson (LSU), Will Johnson (Michigan), Everette Pedescleaux (Northern Iowa)
* Pro Football Weekly Draft Guide used as reference