The Bengals are getting to know many players this weekend at the NFL Combine both on- and off-the-field. Yesterday, it was reported that the team met Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman, and now, Cincy Jungle sources have indicated the team met with Southern Utah strong safety, Miles Killebrew.
With Reggie Nelson and George Iloka both set to hit free agency, safety could become a need for the Bengals in the NFL Draft and the team is preparing to face that reality, if need be.
Killebrew participated in the Senior Bowl where he showed up weighing 219 pounds, 11 pounds less than he did during the 2015 season to show he can match up with the fluidity needed at the safety position in the NFL. Killebrew told The Washington Post that he aspires to be like Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor. The Post also noted that it's possible Killebrew could play safety or linebacker at the NFL level.
At Southern Utah, Killebrew was a four year starter, earning All-Big Sky honors in each season, honorable mention in 2012 and 2013, second team in 2014 and first team in 2015 for his senior year. Killebrew was also named second team All-Big Sky last year after blocking two kicks.
As a redshirt freshman in 2012, Killebrew started all 11 games and racked up 69 tackles, 42 solo, with five passes broken up and a fumble recovery which he returned 49 yards for a touchdown. In 2013, Killebrew had 54 tackles, 32 of which were solo tackles including 4.5 tackles for loss. He broke up two passes and recovered two fumbles, one of which was returned for an 89 yard touchdown, the second longest fumble return in SUU history. In 2014, Killebrew finished with the second most tackles on the team with 101, 39 of which were solo tackles. He also had 2 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. He had three interceptions, including one for a touchdown. For his final season at SUU in 2015, Killebrew had 132 tackles including 74 solo tackles, 58 assisted and 2.5 tackles for loss.
Here's an excerpt from his NFL.com Draft profile written by Deone Bucannon:
BOTTOM LINEViolent player who looks to punish and intimidate with the force of his strikes, but who won't compromise his form as a tackler just for the highlight reel hit. Killebrew is average in coverage, but has the size and physicality that makes him stand out in the box. With the success of Arizona's Deone Bucannon as a hybrid linebacker, it is reasonable to assume that a team will look to Killebrew to fill that role for its defense. If he blows up the combine, he won't get past the second day of the draft.
CBS Sports has Killebrew as their third ranked strong safety and 80th ranked overall prospect. Walter Football has Killebrew ranked as the 10th best safety (including strong safeties and free safeties) and projected as a third or fourth round pick.
Here are some highlights from Killebrew's college career: