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Casserly: Chiefs could target Alex Smith's replacement in draft


Following the departure of Trent Green, the Kansas City Chiefs have spent several seasons searching for consistent quarterback play that will help the club make a dent in the AFC West and in the playoffs. The team traded for Alex Smith last year, and he developed nicely into a reliable starter as the team had a remarkable turnaround to make the postseason for the first time in three years.

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Smith's contract is up at the end of the season, and the Chiefs' front office already is being proactive on an extension. A new deal isn't done at this point, though, and the pulse of those negotiations might have an impact on the Chiefs' 2014 NFL Draft plans.

"This is a tough one because you're not going to pay this guy elite money," NFL Network's Charley Casserly, a former general manager, said on "Path to the Draft." "Andy Reid, check his history. He got Kevin Kolb in the second round and took Nick Foles in the third round. He likes to take quarterbacks, he likes to think of the future."

Chase Daniels and Tyler Bray are Smith's backups, but neither appears to be a long-term option for the franchise. There's little to no chance Kansas City opts to use its first-round pick on a signal-caller, with more pressing needs elsewhere. However, the second day of the draft could be an opportunity for Reid to grab a developmental quarterback he can groom in case Smith moves on after the season.

"I'm penciling in the name of Tom Savage from Pittsburgh," Casserly said. "Big, strong-armed guy who has some similarities to Foles. But I think Foles was better in college. I wouldn't be surprised if, in the middle rounds, they think of the future and the next guy to replace Alex Smith."

Savage is an interesting name to bring up for the team, considering his rise through the pre-draft process. His stock has never been higher, and he's moved from a late-third-day pick to possibly going at the top of the second round. The issue for the Chiefs is that they don't have a second-round selection because of the Smith trade with San Francisco, so they would have to be creative if Savage is indeed one of their targets.

There's still a week or so for the team to decide what they want to do before heading to New York City for the draft. If Reid and company are shopping for an insurance policy, they should have plenty of options on the second and third day.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.



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