2013 NFL Combine: Chiefs to meet with 6 to 8 QBs

INDIANAPOLIS -- While many analysts are predicting that the Kansas City Chiefs will target a quarterback with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, general manager John Dorsey said he subscribes to the best-available approach.

If the Chiefs' brass happens to believe the best player in the draft is a quarterback, so be it, but the team won't grab a signal-caller at the top of the draft in a desperate reach for a new face to the franchise.

Dorsey said the Chiefs will meet with six to eight quarterbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine as a collective group this week.

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"We haven't finished the final process of evaluations," Dorsey said. "It is an ongoing situation and, at the end, we will see what happens. But it will be the best available player."

Right now, Dorsey said he is considering the 333 prospects at the combine this week with the No. 1 overall pick, and a final decision doesn't have to be made for another two months.

"Many things can happen from now until the draft," he said. "I think once we've reached that day when it's time to select a player, I think the organization as a whole will be ready collectively to know who we're going to take with the first pick."

Before settling on the No. 1 overall draft pick, Dorsey has more time-sensitive decisions to make on the Chiefs' current roster. Kansas City has 17 players set to become unrestricted free agents March 12, including two former first-round picks: offensive lineman Branden Albert and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.

Dorsey said the team has had "ongoing communication" with both players but declined to get into more details about their prospects of remaining with the Chiefs in 2013.

Dorsey has also been in contact with quarterback Matt Cassel's representatives. Whether Cassel remains with Kansas City could hinge on what the team decides to do at the top of the draft.

Other than Southern Cal's Matt Barkley, who is rehabbing a shoulder injury, all of the top quarterbacks in this year's draft class are throwing at the combine Sunday as they attempt to separate themselves from the pack. With the big success enjoyed in 2012 by rookie quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, Dorsey sees an overall improvement in the preparation level of quarterbacks entering the NFL.

"I think what has happened; the teaching in college has gotten so skilled at the quarterback position. I think last year demonstrated that young kids can come in and actually end up starting in the National Football League," he said. "Maybe in years past it took two or three years for that individual to be a starter. I think last year's class was a very special class but they showed that they can start and be productive."

Barkley, scheduled to meet with the Chiefs on Friday, and West Virginia's Geno Smith are widely considered the top two quarterbacks in this year's class, although opinions vary widely about whether they're worthy of top-pick consideration. Neither had met Chiefs coach Andy Reid but will do so this week.

"He's got a great reputation. It's a new situation for him, being in Kansas City," said Barkley. "I said I wanted to be the No. 1 quarterback, and if that's the No. 1 pick taken, that would be a dream come true. We'll see where that whole process takes (me)."

Said Smith: "I understand he has the No. 1 pick. My goal is to be the best player I can possibly be. I just want to work out good for him and anyone else who is going to be interested."

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