Intriguing positional battles for Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023

Steelers, Levi Wallace
Steelers, Levi Wallace / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4

Steelers NT:

Keeanu Benton vs Breiden Fehoko vs Montravius Adams

Another intriguing positional battle this year will come at nose tackle. In the past, this was a role that was occupied by Javon Hargrave before Hargrave left town and Tyson Alualu took over. Last year, the combination of an aging Alualu and Montravius Adams were very inefficient in this role. Adams is still under contract, but even with his experience, he seems like the least likely candidate of the group to win this job.

During free agency, the Steelers added former Chargers nose tackle, Breiden Fehoko. While known for his run-stopping ability, Fehoko did not grade out well in any aspect of his game last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Fehoko stands a better shot at making the final roster than Adams (for financial reasons if nothing else). But he may be second in line.

Rookie second-rounder Keeanu Benton seems like the front-runner to land this job due to the talent gap between him and Fehoko or Adams. However, we are also talking about a very inexperienced player here who didn't grade out particularly well against the run last year at Wisconsin.

Eventually, the plan is to plug Benton in at nose tackle, but it's possible that the coaching staff may find that he's a bitter fit elsewhere along the defensive line. Still, Pittsburgh will want to get their best combination of talent on the field, so pairing Benton with Cameron Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi makes sense. This is a battle we need to see play out this summer.