(Second in a position-by-position look at the Patriots leading into the draft)
Personnel: Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, Laurence Maroney, BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Short-term need: Lead blocker. The Patriots didn't run many two-back sets with a standard fullback in 2008 -- they're more of a one-back team -- but had Heath Evans in that role when needed (e.g. Denver game). The late-season emergence by Russ Hochstein in that role could lead them to not directly fill Evans' void.
Long-term need: Moderate-to-high. Kevin Faulk's contract expires after the 2009 season, so keeping an eye on a possible pass-catching type of back could be on the radar. Taylor, Morris, Maroney and Green-Ellis all have deals that expire after the 2010 season.
Quick hit: The Patriots seem well stocked in the short-term and figure to employ a back-by-committee approach once again. They have strong layers of depth in the event of injuries.
Prospects that could be on the radar in the draft or rookie free agency: Donald Brown (UConn), Tony Fiammetta (Syracuse), Jeremiah Johnson (Oregon), Devin Moore (Wyoming), Kehstan Moore (Florida), Chris Ogbonnaya (Texas), Cedric Peerman (Virginia)
* Pro Football Weekly Draft Guide used as reference