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Steve Palazzolo of advanced statistics site Pro Football Focus has released his first in-season mock of the 2017 NFL Draft. "Unfortunately for QB-needy teams, there are a lot of question marks at the top, with few top-end talents emerging and those who were thought to be in the first-round mix simply haven't progressed as hoped," Palazzolo wrote. That's not good news for 49ers fans hoping the team would use their top selection on a quarterback of the future.
Palazzolo has San Francisco selecting their fifth straight defensive player and third straight defensive lineman with their top selection. The mock has defensive lineman Jonathan Allen going to the Cleveland Browns with the top pick and then has San Francisco selecting defensive end Myles Garrett of Texas A&M.
"Certainly worthy of the top overall pick in the draft," wrote Palazzolo. "Garrett is a good fit for the 49ers where he immediately becomes their top edge rusher. Garrett's three-year production has been incredible since stepping onto campus as true freshman in 2014 and he's played through injury this year to post the fourth overall grade among edge defenders at 90.3. An explosive pass-rusher, the big question for Garrett has surrounded his work in the run game but he's answered the call this year with an 85.2 grade that ranks fourth in the nation. Garrett has all the tools and the on-field resume to be a star."
This month, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper projected that Garrett would be the top overall selection. "He's a brilliant, natural pass-rusher who looks like a top-five lock," Kiper wrote of Garrett.
Garrett's 32.5 sacks rank sixth all-time in SEC history. He had 4.5 in Saturday's 23-10 win over Texas San Antonio. Palazzolo has Deshaun Watson, who many consider the top quarterback prospect in the upcoming draft, going with the very next pick to the Chicago Bears.
So now, you have to wonder which general manager will be making the 49ers' top selection.