Miles Killebrew: Starting Safety in Sophomore Season
Defensive positions in football are going the way of the dinosaurs. Instead of defining a player by a certain grouping, more and more coaches are using subpackages to put the most talent on the field at once. In today’s world, versatility rules all. Deone Bucannon, an oversized safety for the Cardinals, cemented that school of thought when deployed as a linebacker in 2015. So it begs the question: where will Miles Killebrew play in 2017? Due to injuries, Killebrew saw some action as a linebacker, and he certainly has the size for the position (6’2″, 222 lbs). However, Bob Quinn confirmed his status as a safety in a recent interview.
An athletic tackling machine, the Lions selected Killebrew in the fourth round last year. He received limited work behind entrenched starters Glover Quin and Tavon Wilson, yet managed to accrue 28 tackles, a pass defended, and an interception. With an offseason to progress, the gem from Southern Utah could push for more playing time.
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Even if Quin and Wilson are locked in as the starters for 2017, both of their contracts expire after this season. The young safety could feasibly start in 2018, assuming he follows up his rookie year with a solid sophomore campaign. Regardless of how he’s defined, the versatile Killebrew will get on the field.
With the eventual departure of Quin and/or Wilson, Detroit might consider drafting another safety this year. Marcus Maye could be an attainable target in the middle rounds. The University of Florida standout suffered a broken arm towards the end of the season, which should bring his draft stock down. Another interchangeable chess piece, Maye has drawn comparison to Detroit’s own Glover Quin. Pairing Killebrew with a player like Maye could work wonders for the Lions going forward.