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Miles Killebrew (born May 10, 1993) is an American football safety for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Southern Utah.

Miles Killebrew
refer to caption
No. 35 – Detroit Lions
Position:Strong safety
Personal information
Born: (1993-05-10) May 10, 1993 (age 26)
Henderson, Nevada
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:222 lb (101 kg)
Career information
High school:Henderson (NV) Foothill
College:Southern Utah
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 4 / Pick: 111
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:58
Forced fumbles:1
Fumble recoveries:0
Pass deflections:6
Defensive Touchdowns:1
Player stats at


College careerEdit

Killebrew reached the triple-digit mark in tackles each of his last two seasons (101 in 2014, 132 in 2015) and also showed an ability to handle pass coverage responsibilities with three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown in 2014) and seven pass breakups in 2015. The four-year starter earned All-Big Sky recognition in each season: honorable mention in 2012 and 2013, second team in 2014, and first team in 2015.

Professional careerEdit


NFL analysts had projected Killebrew to be drafted in the third or fourth rounds. Most teams and scouts were impressed by his size, tackling form, and physical play. The only downsides to him were his lack of instincts, minimal coverage range, and lack of anticipation in run direction. With a large frame for a safety and the popularity of hybrid linebackers in the NFL, a lot of analysts expected him to also play a nickel linebacker role in the NFL.[1] Killebrew played in the Reese's Senior Bowl and was also invited to the NFL combine. Between the Senior Bowl and the combine, it was reported he met with multiple teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, and the Indianapolis Colts' head coach Chuck Pagano.[2][3] On March 30, 2016, he attended Southern Utah's first ever Pro Day and performed the 40-yard dash (4.51), 20-yard dash (2.63), and 10-yard dash (1.58), improving his numbers from the combine on all three.[4] Over twenty scouts and representatives from NFL teams showed up to evaluate Killebrew and ten other prospects at SUU's Pro Day [5]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 2 in
(1.88 m)
217 lb
(98 kg)
32 18 in
(0.82 m)
9 12 in
(0.24 m)
4.65 s 1.65 s 2.71 s 4.18 s 6.93 s 38 in
(0.97 m)
10 ft 7 in
(3.23 m)
22 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[1]

Detroit LionsEdit

The Detroit Lions selected Killebrew in the fourth round (111th overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft.[6] After he had appeared in the senior bowl, the Detroit Lions' safeties coach, Alan Williams, and other representatives from the organization had a meeting with Killebrew and told him that they were not interested in him, he wasn't a right fit for the team, and that they did not want him at all. Once they drafted him, they told him that they had said it to only see how he would respond.[7]

2016 seasonEdit

On May 6, 2016, it was reported that the Detroit Lions had signed Killebrew to a four-year, $2.34 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $578,564.[8]

He began his rookie season as the Lions' third strong safety on the depth chart behind veterans Tavon Wilson and Rafael Bush.[9] In the first 11 games, Killebrew mainly saw time on special teams and saw a few snaps as a rotational safety on defense. On November 20, 2016, Killebrew led the Lions with five tackles, while only playing 12 defensive snaps, all on third down, during the Detroit Lions 26-19 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Four days later, he made four tackles on third down, while only appearing on nine of the Lions' defensive snaps during their 16-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving.[10]

On December 4, 2016, he played 21 defensive snaps (34%) during the Detroit Lions 28-13 victory against the New Orleans Saints. He finished the game with three solo tackles, a pass deflection, and intercepted Drew Brees for his first career interception.[11][12]

2017 seasonEdit

On September 10, 2017, in the Lions' season opening 35–23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, Killebrew had a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown, which came off of quarterback Carson Palmer, in the fourth quarter.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

Killebrew was raised by his parents, Lisa and David Killebrew, in Henderson, Nevada.[14] Killebrew and his family are Indianapolis Colts fans, as they lived in Indiana for a few years. He also cites his role models in football as Troy Polamalu, Earl Thomas, and Bob Sanders.

On April 30, 2016, Killebrew graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in engineering. He received the phone call from the Detroit Lions telling him they'd drafted him on the way to his graduation ceremony.[7]

In June 2016, a Detroit-based brewery named Fort Street Brewery created Killebrew IPA, a play on words using his last name.[15]


  1. ^ a b "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - Miles Killebrew".
  2. ^ Josh Wilson (February 28, 2016). "Colts met with safety Miles Killebrew at the NFL combine". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  3. ^ Austin Gayle (April 27, 2016). "With Eric Weddle gone, Chargers target safety Miles Killebrew". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  4. ^ "Miles Killebrew, DS #6 SS, Southern Utah". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  5. ^ SUU strategic communication (March 30, 2016). "Players shine at SUU's first ever Pro Day". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  6. ^ Twentyman, Tim (April 30, 2016). "Detroit Lions draft safety Miles Killebrew". Detroit Lions. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Michael Rothstein (May 2, 2016). "Lions told Miles Killebrew they didn't want him and then drafted him". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  8. ^ Dave Birkett (May 13, 2016). "Contract details for Detroit Lion's 2016 draft picks". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  9. ^ " Detroit Lion's depth chart". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  10. ^ Kyle Meinke (November 25, 2016). "Snap counts: Rookie Miles Killebrew kills it again on third down". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  11. ^ "NFL Player Profile: Miles Killebrew". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  12. ^ Jeremy Reisman (December 6, 2016). "Lions-Saints snap counts: Miles Killebrew, TJ Johnson see heavy bulk of playing time". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  13. ^ "Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions - September 10th, 2017". Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  14. ^ "Southern Utah University Thunderbirds: Miles Killebrew". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  15. ^ Jason Rowan (July 1, 2016). "Detroit brewery named IPA after Lion's rookie Miles Killebrew". Retrieved December 6, 2016.

External linksEdit