NFL player comparisons for Steelers DL Keeanu Benton

Steelers, Daron Payne
Steelers, Daron Payne / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Most-likely NFL comparison: Maliek Collins

I've watched a lot of Maliek Collins during his time in both Dallas and Las Vegas, and this is a pretty easy comparison to make. Both players have remarkably similar body types with quality length for the position.

Both players had relatively poor 10-yard splits coming out of college, and while neither player is particularly explosive off the line, they are bendy and flexible for interior pass rushers. Collins has primarily been a starter since entering the NFL as the former 67th overall pick by the Cowboys in 2016. He has started 96 of his first 103 games and does enough to offer pressure on the quarterback.

The problem with Maliek Collins is that he never developed as a run defender. While not often talked about, this could be an issue for Keeanu Benton in the NFL, as his run-stop win percentage was only in the 10th percentile among defensive tackles in 2022, per Pro Football Focus.

Despite pedestrian overall grades, Collins is a quality defensive tackle who has compiled over 20 sacks from 2016 to 2022 and he can routinely get pressure on the quarterback. Collins and Benton have very similar size and skill sets and it's easy to see Benton becoming a very similar player at the next level.

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