Draft superlatives for Steelers extremely impressive 2023 class
By Andrew Falce
Steelers most likely to succeed: Keeanu Benton
Any of the Steelers first four picks could realistically hold this spot, but in terms of earliest success, Keeanu Benton figures to be an impact player early and often. He is the most pro-ready prospect, has an instant role as the nose tackle for this team, and was a proven run defender in school and should have an impact there right away.
Unless an injury pops up, Benton should be in line to play 30-40 percent of the defensive snaps right away. He will need to sharpen his skills as a pass rusher if he wants to have more of a role elsewhere on the line, but I expect him to stand out early with consistent plays in run defense.
On the flip side of things, I also expect the rest of the day two picks to have plenty of inconsistencies early on. Jones will see early snaps at left tackle, and while he can be an absolute mauler, he will likely be inconsistent early on. The same goes for Porter, and I’m not confident he can play in every system right now.
Benton should be a stable defender early and could even surprise if his pass rushing improves sooner than expected. Because of this, I expect him to be the instant star of this group. While the likes of Jones, Porter, and even Washington could surpass him, Benton has an inside track of being a successful pick from this draft.
The Steelers landed quite the haul in the draft, and handing out superlatives was difficult because of it. That said, these seemed like the best ones I could come up with, and frankly, it was hard to hand out negative awards.