The Facts: The Patriots will still have James White, Dion Lewis, Burkhead and possibly D.J. Foster at running back, so it won't all fall on Gillislee. But ESPN.com's Mike Reiss believes Gillislee projects as the most likely running back to fill the void left by LeGarrette Blount, who is now with the Eagles. It's a big opportunity for him.
Diehards Line: Reiss went on to note that spring practices weren't the best showcase for Gillislee, whose forte isn't necessarily catching the football. So his role on the team, and his potential impact, will be better assessed when the pads come on and there is hitting and the running game can develop with few restrictions. As always, the Patriots backfield will be difficult to figure out on a week to week basis. But if Gillislee can secure that between the tackles role, it would give us something to work with.