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Jets draft preview: Running back

This is the fourth installment in a nine-part series that will analyze the Jets' needs, position by position, in the upcoming draft.

Position: Running back.

Depth chart: Shonn Greene, John Conner (FB), LaDainian Tomlinson, Joe McKnight, Tony Richardson (FB), Carlos Brown, Chris Jennings.

Not under contract: Richardson.

Scouting report: The Jets are planning to have three tailbacks on the roster -- Greene, Tomlinson and McKnight -- but do they have a No. 1 back in the bunch? Ah, that is the question. This is Greene's time to shine, but didn't we say that last year? It didn't happen that way, of course, as Tomlinson was the feature back over the first half of the season. McKnight, who arrived with a diva mentality, matured throughout the season (pine time can have that effect) and flashed promise in the meaningless season finale. He'll have a role, possibly as the No. 2 back, bringing much-needed speed to the backfield. Tomlinson could be the third-down back. Conner is locked in as the starting fullback. The classy Richardson, 39, will have to go elsewhere if he wants to keep playing.

The Last Time: The Jets have picked running backs in two straight drafts -- McKnight (fourth round, 2010), Conner (fifth round, 2010) and Greene (third round, 2009).

Potential Targets: It would be an absolute stunner if the Jets pick another runner. They're showing interest in Bilal Powell (Louisville), who is on their list of visits to Florham Park. Powell (5-11, 204) is an interesting prospect because he rushed for 1,405 yards last season, yet some scouts say he's a one-year wonder and point to his average speed. Nevertheless, he figures to fall in the fourth- to fifth-round area. Another runner would create backfield chaos. They'll need a backup for Conner, but it's hard to imagine them picking a fullback two years in a row.

Need Factor (scale of 1 to 10): 2.

Friday: Offensive line.