The Case for Miles Killebrew in 2020
Jason Ross Jr.
After signing a one-year deal in the offseason, Miles Killebrew's role with the Lions heading into 2020 is still very much in the air.
Some have questioned whether or not a roster spot is even guaranteed.
Killebrew, the former fourth-round draft pick out of Southern Utah, has carved out somewhat of a niche role for himself on Detroit’s special teams unit.
There’s no denying that’s where he has excelled during his tenure in Detroit.
He led the team with 13 special teams tackles last season, and logged the second-most special teams snaps (351).
His most prolific season came in 2017 -- a campaign that produced 38 tackles, five pass deflections and a pick-six.
He’s built up a reputation as a tackling machine with a high motor, a wonderful football IQ and a well-liked personality around the locker room.
The debate regarding whether Killebrew deserves a roster spot tends to come up when the conversation shifts to defense.
He knows the scheme, but head coach Matt Patricia doesn’t seem to have a true spot for him on the defensive side of the ball.
He’s found himself bouncing back-and-forth between safety (where he is listed) and linebacker, although neither position seems to be a likely role for him in 2020.
His "Swiss army knife," versatile game has perhaps come back to ironically haunt him when it comes to actually finding a home on defense.
It’s difficult to deny that Killebrew has a role on this team, especially when you consider his prowess on special teams and the importance of field position in the NFL.
The question marks, however, for those that feel he may be living life on the edge when it comes to a roster spot revolve around whether or not being a special teams ace is enough.
Killebrew will have a shot to prove that his role is indeed one of necessity for the Lions this upcoming season.