Miles Killebrew

American football player (born 1993)

American football player
  • Safety
  • special teamer
Personal informationBorn: (1993-05-10) May 10, 1993 (age 30)
Henderson, Nevada, U.S.Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)Weight:222 lb (101 kg)Career informationHigh school:Foothill (Henderson)College:Southern Utah (2011–2015)NFL draft:2016 / Round: 4 / Pick: 111Career history
  • Detroit Lions (2016–2020)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2021–present)
Roster status:ActiveCareer highlights and awards
  • First-team All-Pro (2023)
  • Pro Bowl (2023)
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Forced fumbles:1
Pass deflections:6
Defensive Touchdowns:1
Player stats at · PFR

Miles Killebrew (born May 10, 1993) is an American football safety and special teamer for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Southern Utah and was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft.

College career

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 career


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
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 1+78 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 Lions

2016 season

Killebrew in a 2019 game against the Washington Redskins

The Lions selected Killebrew in the fourth round (111th overall) in the 2016 NFL draft.[6] After he had appeared in the senior bowl, the 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 only said it to see how he would respond.[7] On May 6, 2016, it was reported that the 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 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 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 season

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]

2018 season

During training camp Killebrew converted to linebacker with the arrival of Matt Patricia and new defensive scheme.

2020 season

On March 24, 2020, Killebrew re-signed with the Lions.[14]

Pittsburgh Steelers

Killebrew signed a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers on March 24, 2021.[15]

In week 1 of the 2021 season against the Buffalo Bills, Killebrew blocked a punt from Bills punter Matt Haack which was recovered by teammate Ulysees Gilbert for a Steelers touchdown in the 23–16 win.[16] Later, in week 11 against the Chargers, Killebrew blocked a punt from Chargers punter Ty Long, leading to a rushing touchdown by Steelers running back Najee Harris several plays later in the 37–41 loss.[17]

On March 11, 2022, Killebrew signed a two-year, $4 million contract extension with the Steelers.[18]

During week 5 of the 2023 season against the Baltimore Ravens, Killebrew blocked a punt from Ravens punter Jordan Stout, leading to a Steelers safety in the 17–10 victory.[19]

On March 18, 2024, Killebrew signed a two-year contract extension with the Steelers.[20]

Personal life

Killebrew was raised by his parents, Lisa and David Killebrew, in Henderson, Nevada.[21] Killebrew and his family are Indianapolis Colts fans, having 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 technology. He received the phone call from the 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.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Miles Killebrew Draft and Combine Prospect Profile".
  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. Archived from the original on May 3, 2016. 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. ^ "Lions agree to terms with safety Miles Killebrew". March 20, 2020.
  15. ^ Varley, Teresa (March 24, 2021). "Steelers sign Haeg, Killebrew and Marsh". Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  16. ^ Mark Gaughan (September 12, 2021). "Plays that shaped the game: Blocked punt, short yardage, trick plays foil Bills". The Buffalo News.}
  17. ^ Kyle Ireland (November 21, 2021). "Former SUU Safety Miles Killebrew Blocks Punt During Steelers/Chargers Game". KSL Sports.
  18. ^ "Steelers S Miles Killebrew inks deal to remain in Pittsburgh". Steelers Wire. USA Today. March 11, 2022.
  19. ^ Adamski, Chris (October 8, 2023). "'Best in the world' at blocking punts, Miles Killebrew again makes big play for Steelers". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  20. ^ "Killebrew signed to two-year contract". March 18, 2024.
  21. ^ "Southern Utah University Thunderbirds: Miles Killebrew". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  22. ^ Jason Rowan (July 1, 2016). "Detroit brewery named IPA after Lion's rookie Miles Killebrew". Retrieved December 6, 2016.

External links

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