Three-round 2019 NFL mock draft 1.0: QB for Patriots in Round 3

My first mock of the year is a reflection of the draft stock for top-100-level prospects after the all-star game circuit and before the NFL Scouting Combine (March 1-4 on NFL Network).

Teams will set their own draft boards before heading to the combine so that they attach values to players before the athletic testing begins. While the combine results are an important part of the evaluation process, establishing a grade for players based on their game tape is key, lest those fast 40-yard dashes supersede what we've seen from guys during their college careers.

The 95 selections listed here (the Giants used their third-round selection on former Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal in the 2018 supplemental draft) take into account team needs prior to free agency, as well as the talent of the prospects. Free agency, which begins on March 13, will obviously alter the outlook for team needs.

Round 3

PICK

65

Greg Little - OT

School: Mississippi | Year: Junior
Little needs a great combine to win over some scouts, but I think he'll eventually become a starting tackle.

PICK

66

Bobby Okereke - LB

School: Stanford | Year: Senior (RS)
Okereke is athletic and instinctual. The Raiders need to improve at the second level of their defense.

PICK

67

Anthony Nelson - Edge

School: Iowa | Year: Junior (RS)
Nelson's size and hustle should allow him to flourish for the Niners.

PICK

68

Yodny Cajuste - OT

School: West Virginia | Year: Senior (RS)
Jets OT Kelvin Beachum's cap number is $9.5 million in 2019 and there's not much depth behind him.

PICK

69

Damien Harris - RB

School: Alabama | Year: Senior
Leonard Fournette's had his issues, Carlos Hyde seems to be in decline and T.J. Yeldon's contract is expiring, so the Jags may need to find depth at the running back position.

PICK

70

Tytus Howard - OT

School: Alabama State | Year: Senior (RS)
Tampa was willing to take small-schooler Ali Marpet four years ago and that has worked out, so maybe they'll give Howard a shot.

PICK

71

Khalen Saunders - DT

School: Western Illinois | Year: Senior (RS)
Saunders and Shelby Harris should form a strong duo in the middle of the Broncos' defense.

PICK

72

David Long - LB

School: West Virginia | Year: Junior (RS)
LBs Preston Brown and Vincent Rey are due to become free agents, and the Bengals will move on from Vontaze Burfict one day, so Long makes sense here.

PICK

73

Ryan Finley - QB

School: N.C. State | Year: Senior (RS)
Finley's efficiency could make him a nice fit behind Tom Brady for the next couple of years -- or more.

PICK

74

JJ Arcega-Whiteside - WR

School: Stanford | Year: Junior (RS)
A strong combine could push Arcega-Whiteside up draft boards, but he'll be at least a strong WR2 no matter how his workout goes.

PICK

75

Ben Powers - OG

School: Oklahoma | Year: Senior
The Packers have not invested enough in their offensive line in recent years. Powers will start for them for a decade.

PICK

76

Deionte Thompson - S

School: Alabama | Year: Junior (RS)
Thompson reminds me of former Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison, who went in the third round (to the Jaguars) last year. Washington has a need for a thumper in the secondary.

PICK

77

Oshane Ximines - Edge

School: Old Dominion | Year: Senior (RS)
The retirement of Julius Peppers leaves a hole at defensive end for the Panthers. Ximines could be a Charles Johnson-type find in the third round.

PICK

78

Devin Singletary - RB

School: Florida Atlantic | Year: Junior
Singletary stays in South Florida to take over for impending free agent Frank Gore.

PICK

79

Wes Hills - RB

School: Slippery Rock | Year: Senior
With Tevin Coleman due to become a free agent, Hills' power and striding style would be a nice complement to Devonta Freeman.

PICK

80

Mitch Hyatt - OT

School: Clemson | Year: Senior
Hyatt is not the strongest or longest of tackles, but he was a reliable four-year starter at Clemson.

PICK

81

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson - S

School: Florida | Year: Junior
With George Iloka due to hit free agency, Gardner-Johnson's a good combo safety worthy of a Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) selection.

PICK

82

Darnell Savage Jr. - S

School: Maryland | Year: Senior
The Titans might need a new starter next to Kevin Byard if Kenny Vaccaro and/or Kendrick Lewis leave in free agency and they decide to part with Johnathan Cyprien, who missed all of last season (ACL tear) and six games in 2017 (hamstring).

PICK

83

Iman Marshall - CB

School: USC | Year: Senior
Coty Sensabaugh is ticketed for free agency and a rejuvenated Joe Haden is in the last year of his deal. It's a good time to pick a corner.

PICK

84

B.J. Autry - OG

School: Jacksonville State | Year: Senior (RS)
D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy are impending free agents, so why not bring in another guard with initials in his name? Oh, and Autry's also a brute on the line of scrimmage.

PICK

85

A.J. Brown - WR

School: Mississippi | Year: Junior
A deep receiver class should allow the Ravens to fill a void here if they part with free agent-to-be John Brown and/or potential cap casualty Michael Crabtree.

PICK

86

Jalen Jelks - Edge

School: Oregon | Year: Senior (RS)
Even if the Texans re-sign or apply the franchise tag to Jadeveon Clowney, they may still be interested in a value pick like Jelks.

PICK

87

Terry McLaurin - WR

School: Ohio State | Year: Senior (RS)
McLaurin's always had speed, but a big Senior Bowl week showed that he might now be a reliable enough receiver to go in the top 100.

PICK

88

Corey Ballentine - CB

School: Washburn | Year: Senior (RS)
Ballentine's cover skills should allow him to find the field in sub packages.

PICK

89

Amani Hooker - S

School: Iowa | Year: Junior
Clayton Geathers played well in 2018 and could land a big free-agent deal, leaving an opening for Hooker.

PICK

90

Anthony Johnson - WR

School: Buffalo | Year: Junior (RS)
Johnson, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup could form an excellent triumvirate at receiver.

PICK

91

Sione Takitaki - LB

School: BYU | Year: Senior (RS)
Takitaki would be an excellent addition to the Chargers if Denzel Perryman and Kyle Emanuel depart in free agency.

PICK

92

Darrell Henderson - RB

School: Memphis | Year: Junior
The Chiefs may not re-sign Spencer Ware to run with Damien Williams. The team picked Kareem Hunt in the third round and he provided great value until his release. Henderson could make a similar impact.

PICK

93

Miles Sanders - RB

School: Penn State | Year: Junior
The Jets need an upgrade in their running game and Sanders is just scratching the surface of his potential.

PICK

94

Nate Davis - OG

School: Charlotte | Year: Senior (RS)
A.J. Cann and Patrick Omameh have expiring deals. Davis' athleticism makes him worth a look here.

PICK

95

Justin Layne - CB

School: Michigan State | Year: Junior
GM John Dorsey adds depth at corner with E.J. and Phillip Gaines (not related) due to become free agents.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.