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2017 NFL mock draft: How likely is a quarterback?

The 49ers need a quarterback of the future. Will they invest heavily in one next April?

The San Francisco 49ers head into Thursday Night Football with a quarterback situation that is not looking pretty. Blaine Gabbert had a strong start to Week 4, but finished poorly, capped by an ugly interception on a deep ball intended for Torrey Smith. Colin Kaepernick might eventually get a chance, but for the time being, things are not good.

It is safe to say at this point that Gabbert is not a long-term answer at quarterback. Kaepernick might get a chance, but I don’t think anybody would be surprised if the team released him this offseason. At the moment, it would appear the 49ers need to find a young quarterback to develop into a franchise option.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller put together his latest 2017 NFL mock draft, and he has the 49ers grabbing a quarterback in the first round. He goes with Miami (FL) prospect Brad Kaaya. Here’s what he has to say about the Kaaya:

If you liked Teddy Bridgewater and Jared Goff—and boy, did I—then you'll like Brad Kaaya a lot. A tall, lean, smart quarterback with a ton of poise, Kaaya hasn't been on great Miami teams, but he's balled and won games while showing accuracy, smarts and instincts few college passers have. Now that he's working with Mark Richt, many of the old habits (back-foot throws were a big one) are gone.

Kaaya's tape may not wow like DeShone Kizer or Deshaun Watson from an athletic standpoint, but he will win NFL scouts over in the interview room. He's a top-level processor and has the quick decision-making skills to be an ideal fit in Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense, where you're ripping off plays every 60 seconds and need a quarterback who can win the game mentally.

Here is what his first three picks look like in Miller’s mock draft. For those wondering, he has Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson slipping to the New Orleans Saints at No. 7.

1. Cleveland Browns - DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
2. Tennessee Titans - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
3. Miami Dolphins - Jabrill Peppers, DB, Michigan

An early October mock draft is a fun thought exercise, but we know a lot is going to change for several inputs into the draft. The draft order is far from set, with 13 teams currently tied at 1-3. We also know there will be players that emerge later in the season, and even into the pre-draft process next spring. But for the time being, this is one person’s look at how things might shake out.