Four-round 2019 NFL mock draft: QB, WR for Patriots in Round 3

My four-round mock draft provides a look into where prospects' grades stand after the NFL Scouting Combine and most of their pro days, and also the state of teams' roster needs with the main free agency period in the rearview mirror.

You'll note that several times throughout this mock, I point to 2020 free agency as a factor for the selection. Teams aren't just evaluating needs for 2019 when considering whom to pick, as they must also take into account free agency choices yet to come.

Keep in mind: The picks made in the 2019 draft can certainly help a team this fall, but they really affect the 2020 and '21 seasons as much or more.

To see every pick each team holds in the 2019 NFL Draft, click here.

Round 3

School: Iowa | Year: Junior (RS)

Nelson brings length and hustle to the 5-technique position for new DC Vance Joseph's 3-4 scheme.

School: Georgia | Year: Junior

Ridley's 40 time at the combine was 4.58 seconds, which might cause him to drop a bit despite his professional route-running ability. However, 5-10, 186-pound Antonio Brown's 40 time at the 2010 combine was 4.57 -- so those times are not always a great indicator of future success.

School: Central Michigan | Year: Junior (RS)

The 49ers had a grand total of two interceptions in 2018. Bunting, a darling of scouts since his excellent combine workout, had nine career picks for the Chippewas.

School: Mississippi | Year: Junior

Finding a tackle should be foremost on the minds of management at this pick since the Jets do not have a second-round selection (because of the Sam Darnold trade). Each year, there is at least one good value at tackle available early in the third round, and Little fits that description.

School: Penn State | Year: Junior

Sanders may not love playing second fiddle to Leonard Fournette, as he did to Saquon Barkley at Penn State, but the Jags' starter has struggled with injuries over the past three years (including his last season at LSU). Sanders could be a valuable pickup to make sure the running game consistently chugs along.

School: Ohio State | Year: Senior (RS)

McLaurin's speed and improved hands will help make up for the loss of big-play threat DeSean Jackson.

School: Georgia | Year: Senior (RS)

With Matt Paradis departing for the Panthers, the Broncos find another undersized but tough-as-nails center in Gaillard.

School: Michigan State | Year: Junior

Cincinnati signed B.W. Webb and brought Darqueze Dennard back on short-term deals, but Layne will be a good pickup for 2020 and beyond.

School: N.C. State | Year: Senior (RS)

Finley has the football IQ to be a good backup for Tom Brady over the next couple of seasons. He could become the heir apparent with positive performances when called upon.

School: Washburn | Year: Senior (RS)

Signing veteran Kevin Johnson may prove a bargain for Buffalo, but his injury history and the team's lack of depth at the position makes the athletic Ballentine an easy pick here.

School: Boston College | Year: Senior

Allen is a powerful 5-technique prospect who could make things easier for the Packers after the 2019 season if Mike Daniels departs as a free agent.

School: BYU | Year: Senior (RS)

Takitaki should be a force as an attacking inside 'backer for Washington. The team needs help in the middle after releasing Zach Brown, and starter Mason Foster is scheduled to become a free agent in 2020.

School: Miami | Year: Junior

Jackson's power off the edge will make him a true steal if he lasts until this point in the draft. Bruce Irvin was signed to help make up for the retirement of Julius Peppers, but Jackson's a better fit as a 4-3 base end.

School: Notre Dame | Year: Junior (RS)

 **PROJECTED TRADE WITH DOLPHINS.** If the 
 [Bills](/teams/buffalobills/profile?team=BUF) are able to make a swap down in the first round, as I project they will with the 
 [Dolphins](/teams/miamidolphins/profile?team=MIA), they will try to find depth at tight end. Mack's a strong pass catcher who will help second-year quarterback 
 [Josh Allen](https://www.nfl.com/prospects/josh-allen?id=32462018-0002-5600-29bc-8750224414bd) move the chains. 
</content:power-ranking>

School: Florida Atlantic | Year: Junior

Singletary can help take the load off of Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith.

School: Clemson | Year: Senior

While the Browns re-signed Greg Robinson for one year, finding a solid backup plan at left tackle seems wise.

School: Alabama | Year: Junior (RS)

The Vikings allowed George Iloka to leave as a free agent, so picking up a good partner in the defensive backfield for Harrison Smith will be a priority. Thompson's game is similar to that of former Alabama teammate Ronnie Harrison, who was picked in the late third round last year.

School: Wisconsin | Year: Senior (RS)

The Titans signed Kevin Pamphile as insurance across from fellow free-agent acquisition Rodger Saffold. However, Dieter's mobility and willingness to move bodies will earn him a starting spot sooner than later.

School: West Virginia | Year: Senior (RS)

 [The trade of longtime starter Marcus Gilbert](http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001021560/article/steelers-agree-to-trade-ot-marcus-gilbert-to-cardinals) gives Cajuste a chance to start as a rookie if he's able to prove himself on the right side of the line. 
</content:power-ranking>

School: TCU | Year: Senior (RS)

Collier would be a great fit in Seattle's scheme due to his power on the edge. It's possible he could last this long after putting up average athletic testing numbers at the combine.

School: Miami | Year: Senior

Jackson does not always play as fast as he timed at the combine (4.45 in the 40), but he has the body type that the Ravens will need to eventually replace corners Brandon Carr and Jimmy Smith, who are both in their 30s.

School: Oregon | Year: Senior (RS)

The Texans will have to pay Jadeveon Clowney (who received the franchise tag) big bucks to keep him long-term, which means they might not be able to retain both him and Whitney Mercilus, who's due to become a free agent in 2020. Hollins probably deserves to be selected earlier than this because he has a solid all-around game.

School: TCU | Year: Senior (RS)

 [Khalil Mack](/player/khalilmack/2543463/profile) proved to be worthy of the price the 
 [Bears](/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) paid for him. Finding a young pass rusher to complement Mack and 
 [Leonard Floyd](/player/leonardfloyd/2555285/profile) will make the 
 [Bears](/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI)' defense even scarier. 
</content:power-ranking>

School: Oklahoma | Year: Senior

The release of T.J. Lang opens a spot for a solid mid-round guard prospect like Powers, who does his job on every down, as Kyler Murray will tell you.

School: San Diego State | Year: Junior (RS)

 [Eric Ebron](/player/ericebron/2543466/profile) and 
 [Jack Doyle](/player/jackdoyle/2540232/profile) are scheduled to become free agents in 2020, so the 
 [Colts](/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) should pick up at least one tight end in this draft. Kahale's rooting section should be called the "Warring Faction." 
</content:power-ranking>

School: Miami | Year: Senior (RS)

 [David Irving](/player/davidirving/2553805/profile)'s career appears to have come to an end, so Jerry Jones may want another talent in the middle of his team's defense. 
</content:power-ranking>

School: Boston College | Year: Senior

Harris has the size and quickness to cover the parts of the back half that Derwin James is not locking down.

School: Charleston | Year: Senior (RS)

The Chiefs need a base end in their new defensive scheme. Cominsky's strength, motor and quickness are reminiscent of former Kansas City fourth-round pick Jared Allen.

School: Notre Dame | Year: Junior

Love's a pass-breakup machine (36 over his last two seasons) despite his average size and straight-line speed. The Jets may have found a strong talent to bolster their depth at a roster trouble spot.

School: Texas A&M | Year: Senior

Keke's length and agility could push him into the top 75 picks. The Rams would love to select him here, though, as they may need to replace both Ndamukong Suh and Ethan Westbrooks.

School: Michigan | Year: Junior

Long's quickness makes him a nice replacement for former slot corner B.W. Webb.

School: San Diego State | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Roemer has top-50-type ability, but his issues with coaches at San Diego State may cost him draft position. The Redskins need help at right tackle, though, so they will take a chance on him late in the third round.

School: Massachusetts | Year: Senior

With a boatload of early picks, I won't be surprised if the Pats choose multiple offensive weapons to make up for the loss of Gronk and find an eventual replacement for soon-to-be 33-year-old Julian Edelman, who's ticketed for free agency in 2020.

School: USC | Year: Senior

Finding a third corner to play with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye is a definite need for the Jaguars. Marshall should handle outside responsibilities against the No. 2 receiver.

School: Ohio State | Year: Junior

 [Rams](/teams/losangelesrams/profile?team=LA) coaches believe second-year players 
 [Joe Noteboom](/player/joenoteboom/2560825/profile) and 
 [Brian Allen](/player/brianallen/2560954/profile) can take over for the departed 
 [Rodger Saffold](/player/rodgersaffold/497048/profile) and 
 [John Sullivan](/player/johnsullivan/2507491/profile) inside -- but why not pick up Jordan, who could play either guard or center if needed? 
</content:power-ranking>

School: Stanford | Year: Senior (RS)

Okereke is an underrated prospect with the athleticism and intelligence to be a decade-long starter in place of former Panthers LB Thomas Davis.

School: Western Illinois | Year: Senior (RS)

Saunders' game is similar to that of Malcom Brown, on whom the Patriots used a first-round pick in 2015 and just let walk in free agency.

School: Oregon | Year: Senior (RS)

Jelks didn't show himself to be a plus athlete at the combine, but the Ravens won't care about that when looking for depth at the position where they lost Terrell Suggs and Za'Darius Smith. He is a strong player on the edge who wins with his length and football instincts.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.

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