Entering the 2023 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a number of draft needs that they needed to address. Unlike in 2022, the Steelers possessed a full allotment of draft picks without any glaring need on their roster.
With seven total picks, the following positions could be viewed as a priority entering the selection process: safety, pass rusher, wide receiver and even inside linebacker. Those positions, and more, were positions of need to help the black-and-gold get to the next level in 2023. There have been numerous thoughts and debates regarding what the team will do in Round 2 of the NFL Draft.
When the dust settled, the Steelers have selected DT Keeanu Benton out of Wisconsin with their second pick in the 2nd Round of the draft.
The Steelers take Wisconsin DT Keeanu Benton.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 29, 2023
Great value there. Pittsburgh's done good work.
For those who don’t know much about Benton as a prospect, here is what our own BTSC Big Board had to say about the newest Steelers pick:
Keeanu Benton is one of my favorite defensive linemen in this class. He’s a big-bodied run-stuffer with elite size and strength, but he has surprising juice as a pass-rusher. His hands are active and violent, and he has tremendous power when collapsing the pocket. Benton does occasionally play a bit too high, which can negate the size/strength advantage he has over most offensive linemen. He also can lean a bit too far forwards when pass-rushing, which can cause him to lose his balance and any lateral agility. Benton can lose some steam as the game goes on, but this should easily be solved at the next level with some NFL conditioning as well as a defensive line rotation. Benton is a great fit for the Steelers’ late second round pick or third round pick to solidify the team’s starting defensive line.
For those who want a more detailed breakdown of what Benton brings to the team, check out this player profile from The Draft Network:
Top Reasons to Buy In:
- Incredible raw power
- Outstanding run-stuffing value
- Added quicker hand counters
Top Reasons For Concern:
- Pass-rush value remains limited
- Not an overly explosive athlete
- Lacks versatility and alignment
Size (NFL Combine):
Height: 6′ 4”
Weight: 309 lbs
Arm Length: 33 7/8”
Hand Size: 9 3/4”
Athletic Testing (NFL Combine):
40-yard Dash: 5.08s
Vertical Jump: 29.5”
Broad Jump: 9′ 3”
Bench Reps: 25 reps
Ideal Role: Nose tackle
Scheme Fit: Odd-front base, attacking/gap exchanging
What do you think of the pick of Benton? Let us know your thoughts in the poll below:
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Also, stay tuned for more on this player and how he fits within the Steelers’ defense on the Breaking News podcast in the player below: