Three Winners From Brandon Flowers Being Released

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Oct 27, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Daniel Sorensen (9) runs the ball towards the end zone during the second half against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Brigham Young defeated Georgia Tech 41-17. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports


There is now an extra roster spot in the Chiefs secondary that did not exist 24 hours ago, which means a player that was once on the outside looking in is now in a better position to make the roster.

One should assume the Chiefs are going to keep anywhere from nine to 10 defensive backs on their roster when they start the season in September. The presumed locks for the roster heading into Friday would have included Flowers, Smith, Marcus Cooper, Ron Parker, Chris Owens, Philip Gaines, Berry, Sanders Commings, and Husain Abdullah. That puts the Chiefs at nine defensive backs with about one or maybe no spots open for somebody else to make the squad. Now, barring a signing of someone like Ed Reed, the Chiefs have one or two spots open to be won.

The three players most likely to benefit from the Chiefs extra roster spot are safety Daniel Sorensen and cornerbacks David Van Dyke and DeMarcus Van Dyke. Sorensen already had an inside track because of his abilities on special teams and playing a position of need. One would have have to assume the Chiefs are going to carry four safeties and the list above only has three as locks. It would appear that fourth spot would be Sorensen’s to lose at the moment, raising Sorensen’s “50/50” shot of making the team to something closer to 60/40.

We’ve talked about Sorensen before in a few posts. I’ve even gone on the radio in Utah to talk about Sorensen’s chances of making the roster. So we’ll try not to repeat too much of what has already been said about Sorensen here.

There are two things you need to know about Sorensen: He’s great on special teams and he’s very smart on the field. We all know about the emphasis the Chiefs put on special teams and how excellent they were last season. Something to consider with the Flowers release is that a guy like Marcus Cooper – who made a few big plays on special teams last year – is probably not going to be on the unit again this year. Finding guys who can make plays on the coverage unit is something the Chiefs will be taking a long look at in training camp. Sorensen is expected to shine in this department.

BYU Radio’s BYU Nation told me folks in Utah like to refer to Sorensen as a Special Teams all-American. The tape on him around the internet would suggest this is a fitting title for him. Playing as both the starting safety and as a special teamer, Sorensen made ton of plays downing balls inside the 10 and blocking punts. His instincts on the field and motor seem to really help him in this area of his game. If the Chiefs can add a play-maker on special teams with one of the back-end of the roster player then they are probably going to go that direction.

Sorensen has some starting upside as a safety as well. He’s a big guy at 6-1, 205 and is extremely quick. At the NFL Combine Sorensen posted top-five performances in the three-cone (6.47), 20-yard shuttle (3.95), and 60-yard shuttle (10.80). To put his 3-cone drill in perspective, Sorensen’s time was a full .22 seconds faster than Odell Beckham. Sorensen’s ability to go from side-to-side and his instincts on the field should put him in a position to excel as a one or two-deep safety for Sutton.

Flowers being cut may also open up an opportunity for another corner. DeMarcus Van Dyke, a “scrap heap” signing earlier in the offseason, is an intriguing guy to make the team. He ran a 4.28 40 at the NFL combine four years ago, and is listed as being 6-1, 190 pounds. The size/speed element of Van Dyke could be very appealing to the Chiefs, who run a lot of man-coverage schemes to mix in with their blitz packages.

The other Van Dyke, David, is a rookie and cousin of DeMarcus. He would appear to be a candidate to make the practice squad at this juncture, but he may now be only an injury away from being on the 53-man roster in September. At 6-0, 185, Van Dyke has 4.46 speed and an excellent 38 1/2 inch vertical. Polishing up his technique at cornerback over the next year could land him on the roster next year. But as we saw with Cooper, if you have speed and size then you have a chance to make an immediate impact in Bob Sutton’s defense.

Ultimately, Sorensen is probably the early leader to secure the ninth defensive back slot on the Chiefs roster. How safe do you feel Commings, Abdullah, and Berry will stay healthy all season? Adding depth at safety would appear to be the best move and Sorensen is the best option on the roster as of now. However, guys like the David and DeMarcus are now just one injury away from cracking a spot on this roster, which is something that probably could not have been said before the Flowers release.