1. The Steelers drafted Keeanu Benton
The Steelers draft class is rightly being praised by a lot of people due to the quality of players they got. From top to bottom, this class was a strong one, and I can’t label the class as a whole underrated because of this fact.
One player seemingly flying under the radar is Keeanu Benton. Far less flashy than most of the picks, Benton is a great fit for this defense and has an instant role to fill. While he has the body size and length to eventually be more of a defensive end, he mostly played nose tackle at Wisconsin, and he can step in as a rookie and contribute there.
He is a sturdy run defender that uses his strength to plug holes and occupy space. No one is getting around him in the middle of the defense. He isn’t a flashy pass rusher, but he can shed blocks and get into the backfield. There is also room for him to grow as a pass rusher. At worst, he seems poised to be a good run defender at the next level.
Despite all of these positives, Benton is constantly overlooked in this class. That is partially a testament to just how good this group is on paper, but it also leads me to believe that fans are underrating him heading into his rookie season.
While I don’t believe that Benton has the ceiling that the other three top picks in this class have, he has the highest floor and the clearest path to playing time as a rookie. He may not end up being the best player overall in this class, but I expect him to be the earliest contributor and one that sticks around as a stable run defender for a while.
The Steelers have been busy this offseason, and it has allowed a lot of new faces to join this team. While some moves are being praised heavily, these five were all solid moves that have received less praise from the fanbase, making them underrated heading into this season.