NFL Draft Rumors: As Negotiations With Alex Smith Stall, Chiefs Eye First-Round QBs

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Alex Smith

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Fourteen months ago the Kansas City Chiefs made a deal to acquire quarterback Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers. But as negotiations with Smith continue to stall, the team may be looking for its starting quarterback in 2015 later this week.

According to multiple reports, the Chiefs are considered a “sleeper” team to draft a quarterback. ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen suggests the team could go after one as early as the first round, depending on how the round plays out, and names Derek Carr as a possibility.

NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport believes it is contingent more so on how negotiations with Smith progress.

Last month, reports indicated that contract talks between the Chiefs and Smith were at a standstill and were moving “very, very slowly.” However, there were expectations the talks would heat up rapidly after the NFL Draft.

Smith is a free agent after the 2014 season and is set to earn a big-money deal, and according to Rapoport, the team could be eyeing his successor in the first round on Thursday.

At No. 23, there could be a number of quarterbacks at the Chiefs’ disposal. Carr is among the names to keep an eye on. So should Tom Savage of Pitt, who according to NFL Media’s Charlie Casserly, is someone who could fit in coach Andy Reid’s system.

“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.”

If the early portion of the first round is a determining factor to the Chiefs’ draft strategy, the team may have to consider the potential fall of Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater.

The Kansas City Stars also believes the team will take a quarterback, but not in the first round. Only once in Reid’s time as a head coach has he taken a quarterback in the first round — that was back in 1999 when the Philadelphia Eagles selected Donovan McNabb.

In his time in Philly, Reid took six quarterbacks in 14 years — roughly one every other year — meaning he very likely is considering doing so for the first time as coach of the Chiefs.

The Star suggests Bridgewater is the Chiefs’ top-rated quarterback prospect, followed by Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Carr and Jimmy Garappolo. If the team follows Reid’s system of drafting the best player available, one of these quarterbacks could be picked in Rounds 1 or 2.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.