When anyone is referring to specific players who were selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, many want to use terms like value, need, and a new favorite among the NFL community is “fit”. This would refer to a player’s skill set, and how it meshes with the team who selected them in the draft process.
A recent article by ESPN’s Matt Bowen provided his favorite “fits” on both Day 1 and Day 2 of the 3-day selection process which wrapped up just over a week ago.
Not every team was feature in this article, but Bowen particularly liked the Steelers second of two 2nd Round picks. That would be none other than Wisconsin defensive lineman Keeanu Benton.
This is what Bowen had to say about Benton, and why he is a perfect fit for the Steelers defense:
Keeanu Benton, DT, Pittsburgh Steelers
Drafted: Round 2, No. 49
Why he is a perfect fit: I picked Benton here because he fits in the Steelers’ front as a nose guard due to his size and play strength. At 6-foot-4, 308 pounds, Benton can take on double-teams, and the hand usage skills are there for him to disengage from blockers and pick up run-game stops (12 last year).
Benton can push the pocket in passing situations, too, creating even more interior disruption for one of the NFL’s top defensive lines. He posted 4.5 sacks in his final year at Wisconsin. Let’s not make this one complicated; Benton is an ascending player who will be deployed in a perfect spot that fits his traits.
How Benton is utilized, especially as a rookie, in the Steelers’ offense will be something to watch as the team looks to build up the trenches, and Benton should be a large part of that process. Some, like Bowen, see the Steelers utilizing Benton as a nose tackle early in his tenure, a job he’ll have to take from Montravius Adams. However, that shouldn’t be a big issue if Benton lives up to his 2nd Round stock.
The next logical question with Benton, who is a very good athlete, is if he could also be a rotational piece along the defensive line outside of just plugging up the middle as the nose tackle. Could he help spell Cam Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi? Would Benton and DeMarvin Leal be the future of the Steelers’ defensive front?
A lot has yet to be determined, but based solely on current skill set and the team who has drafted them, Benton and the Steelers are a good fit.
What do you think of the selection/fit? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2023 NFL offseason.