The Pittsburgh Steelers’ pre-draft visitor list is quickly filling up. On the heels of today’s report that the team is hosting OL Cody Mauch and WR Charlie Jones, the Steelers also have a visit scheduled with Wisconsin DL Keeanu Benton.
Ryan Roberts tweeted the news moments ago of the impending visit.
Benton is one of the top interior defensive linemen in this year’s draft. Strong and quick, he had a solid Senior Bowl showing and his wrestling background translates on the field. Last year for the Badgers, he recorded 36 tackles, including 10 for a loss, to go along with four sacks. For his college career, he racked up 19 tackles for a loss and nine sacks. Though not a premier pass rusher or athlete, he has the hands to quickly shed blocks and can be disruptive in the run and pass game.
In our pre-draft profile on Benton, we concluded:
“A solid prospect who can play nose with the size and length to move down the line, too. Benton can fit in a 3-4 or 4-3 that two-gaps more than most defenses and wants their lineman to take on blocks and clog up run lanes to free up the linebackers behind. He’s used to running more complex schemes and assignments so a defense that is more aggressive and asks more out of their lineman than just shooting gaps isn’t too big for him.”
Pittsburgh will look for defensive line help in this year’s draft. Depth here is thin and the team is lacking in the middle, even after signing Breiden Fehoko yesterday. Benton played more nose tackle later in his college career but has experience up and down the line in college.
At this year’s Senior Bowl, Benton relayed that the Steelers told him he was “on their radar” so the pre-draft visit tracks with that. He’s solidly projected to be a Day Two pick and could be on the Steelers’ radar at #32 or #49. Our NFL comp to him was Dalvin Tomlinson.
You can check out our complete report on Benton below. And you can follow along our very-busy pre-draft visit tracker at the link here.