NFL player comparisons for Steelers DL Keeanu Benton

Steelers, Daron Payne
Steelers, Daron Payne / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Low-end NFL comparison: A'Shawn Robinson

As great as it would be to see Keeanu Benton turn out to be the next Daron Payne, it's not out of the question that his career path could follow that of former Alabama prospect, A'shawn Robinson. The big defensive tackle was a former second-round pick of the Detroit Lions back in 2016 who has been very up and down for most of his NFL career.

Robinson had pedestrian college production and the hope was that he could develop into a more consistent pass rusher in the NFL. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Despite starting 61 games in his first 7 seasons, Robinson recorded a grand total of just 7.0 sacks and 20 tackles for a loss from 2016 to 2022, per ESPN stats.

Production-wise, this is about as bad as you could expect from a former second-round pick. Like Robinson, Benton can be slow off the snap, which could result in him routinely being a second late to the play at the next level.

Robinson was a long-armed prospect coming out of college who developed into a decent run defender, but he lacked the twitch and explosion to be an impact pass rusher from the interior in the NFL. If Keeanu Benton doesn't improve his pass-rush technique or explosiveness off the line, he might not be the quality pass-rusher in the NFL that fans are hoping he will be.