With Abdullah and Branch now gone the Chiefs safety depth consists of Daniel Sorensen, a third-year undrafted free agent, and Jamell Fleming, who is being converted from cornerback after having a very tough year at the position. It’s pretty obvious that the Chiefs will add more players to the mix between the draft and players who are still available in free agency as well as those who could get cut as we get closer to training camp. There is potential in Sorensen, who received more playing time when Abdullah was out multiple weeks with a concussion, but as of now he’s a clear step down from his former teammates.
We honestly have no idea how Fleming will be at safety. It worked out with Ron Parker who has found success in the free safety role after having his own struggles at cornerback, but time will tell if the Chiefs will have similar success with Fleming. This is an obvious area of need going into the draft and I expect it will be addressed with at least one pick, if not two.
There’s still a lot to like about this Chiefs defense going into the new season, especially with the returns of Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Jaye Howard. Justin Houston may miss some time but I’m optimistic that Dee Ford could finally show us why John Dorsey took a chance on drafting him in the first round in 2014.
Most importantly the team has two cornerstones in the backfield in Eric Berry and Marcus Cooper, but they won’t be able to do it alone. Can Phillip Gaines, Steven Nelson and Daniel Sorensen step up and provide the sort of spark that Cooper did in his rookie year, or will the Chiefs be looking wistfully at their division rival and wishing they had kept Sean Smith in red and gold?
Time will certainly tell.