In this 2016 NFL Draft profile, we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of strong safety Miles Killebrew out of Southern Utah.
A four-year starter at strong safety for Southern Utah, Killebrew has earned All-big sky recognition in each season, second-team in 2014 and first-team in 2015. His physique and physicality as a safety mirrors Deone Bucannon from the Arizona Cardinals, a once safety in college who has made the transition to the linebacker position in the pros. Killebrew won’t be converting positions in the NFL, but his demeanor and physicality is something scouts and general managers seek in route to a potential franchise strong safety.
In the past two seasons, Killebrew has recorded a combined total of 243 tackles including 132 during his senior campaign. Since his freshmen year, the young safety has finished his college career with 69 sacks, third most on the team.
Feb 27, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern Utah defensive back Miles Killebrew speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
During the 2016 NFL Combine, Killebrew ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds, had a 38.0 inch vertical jump, 127.0 inch broad jump, finished the 3-cone drill in 6.93 seconds, ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.18 seconds, the 60-yard shuttle in 11.02 seconds and recorded 22 reps on the bench press. The strong safety currently stands at 6’2″, weighs in at 217 pounds, has a 32 1/8″ arm length and 9 1/2″ hands.
Extremely physical player. Hard hitter, posses the physique of a linebacker. Quick speed for a safety with his frame. Dangerous safety, patient and doesn’t commit to a hit or tackle too early. Arguably the hardest hitting safety in recent draft’s. Solid run defender and special teams player. Three blocked kicks on his resume.
Consecutive 100-tackle seasons as a junior and senior. Great locker-room presence that will mesh well in an NFL locker-room. Plays with tremendous heart and power. Solid, hitter, tackler and run stopper. All around productive and versatile safety that any team in need of secondary help should target in this year’s draft.
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Focusses too much on the big hit sometimes which results in an unbalanced or poor tackle attempt.
Needs to improve field vision, weak against the quarterback run when they played Sam Houston St.
Sometimes too physical, needs to keep his hands away from the opponent’s head and neck area when tackling. NFL refs will target him.
Tries to force the fumble mostly rather than making the safe tackle for a loss of yards. Needs to improve his feel in coverage, tends to lose track of where his man is he’s covering. Fast for his size but average for his position.
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
Killebrew is without a doubt a physical and talented strong safety. He shouldn’t have a problem making an immediate impact on an NFL roster as long as he improves his vision in coverage, tackling and overall speed. A highly productive four-year starter at Southern Utah, the young safety prospect should find himself selected within rounds 3-4. Will most likely be a special teams threat during his rookie season but should see plenty of opportunities to start at strong safety during his second and third year in the NFL.