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Bradford's decision could alter Chiefs' plans

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.