(Seventh in a position-by-position look at the Patriots leading into the draft)
Personnel: Vince Wilfork, Mike Wright, Titus Adams
Short-term need: Minor. Wilfork has become a top-flight player in the Patriots' base 3-4 scheme and seldom comes off the field on early downs. Wright is a prototype short-term fill-in.
Long-term need: High. Wilfork enters the final year of his contract, so if the team re-signs him, the long-term need is negated. Wright is a hard working backup who doesn't project as a full-time starter at nose. Adams spent last year on the practice squad.
Quick hit: Arguably the toughest position to fill in the 3-4 defense. Wilfork's work against former Dolphins center Samson Satele in the Nov. 23 meeting between the teams illustrated how a nose tackle can decisively impact a game.
Prospects that could be on the radar in the draft or rookie free agency: Ron Brace (Boston College), Marlon Favorite (LSU), Adrian Grady (Louisville), Roy Miller (Texas), Terrance Taylor (Michigan)
* Pro Football Weekly Draft Guide used as reference