Bradford's decision could alter Chiefs' plans

January, 14, 2009
1/14/09
6:25
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford's decision to return to school for another year could affect Kansas City's draft plans.

The Chiefs will likely consider taking a quarterback with their top pick. Kansas City has the No. 3 pick. The Chiefs have greater needs on defense but new general manager Scott Pioli could be enticed to kick things off in Kansas City by taking a franchise-type quarterback rather than trying to develop current quarterback Tyler Thigpen.

Pioli's former New England colleague, Thomas Dimitroff, took Matt Ryan with the No. 3 pick in 2008 in his first draft in Atlanta, and that looks like a genius move after one season. That cannot be lost on Pioli as he strikes out on his own.

With Bradford out of the mix, it could be difficult to take a quarterback at No. 3. Georgia's Matthew Stafford will likely be a top pick. But Detroit, which has the No.1 overall pick, will also likely be in the market for a signal-caller. If the Lions were to take Stafford, there may not be a quarterback worth taking at No. 3.

USC's Mark Sanchez is reportedly planning to declare for the draft and if he has a good workout season, he could rise through the ranks to become a top-three pick. But there are no guarantees.

There will be a lot of developments that affect the draft board in the three-plus months before the draft. But Bradford's decision could affect Kansas City's plans if quarterback is the direction in which the organization wants to go.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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