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Andy Reid: Geno Smith in play for K.C. Chiefs' No. 1 pick

When the Kansas City Chiefs opted to place the franchise tag on offensive tackle Branden Albert, it was immediately apparent that the move would grant the team flexibility at the top of the draft.

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It also provides a credible guise to convince teams just below them in the 2013 NFL Draft that they will have to trade up to No. 1 to land their most coveted player.

That leverage might have been in the back of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid's mind on Tuesday when he claimed that West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is not "out of the water" as one of eight or 10 draft possibilities despite the recent trade for Alex Smith.

"I'm going to keep my eyes open on everybody. I think Geno is a good quarterback," Reid said, via Philly Mag's Birds 24/7 blog. "We'll just see how it all goes, get this workout thing going."

Translation: If you want the draft's top quarterback prospect, come and get him.

Even if scouts still are divided on Smith as a top-10 prospect, the need for a franchise quarterback by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills will raise Smith's stock to the point in which the Chiefs might find a taker by late April.

A strong passing display at last week's pro day that left NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock impressed certainly helped Reid's position in that regard.

In fact, he told USA Today that a couple of teams already have expressed interest in the top overall pick.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling

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