Steelers fourth-best rookie: Keeanu Benton
Consistent. That is the best way to describe the training camp and preseason progress of second-round pick Keeanu Benton. While he hasn’t had the highs of some of the names on this list, he certainly hasn’t had the lows. He has come in, showed just about everything you saw on tape in Wisconsin, and now figures to be a core defensive lineman for this defense.
What stands out first and foremost with Benton is just what we say in college, his strength. Seemingly every snap he played in preseason showcased him pushing his way through opposing linemen and wreaking havoc in the backfield. Put on any of his preseason film and he is hard to miss.
One of the main negatives I have with him is that he didn’t show that much besides his strength. He lacks a lot of finesse, which limits his ability to pad stats. Benton lacks the flashy stats of some of his counterparts, and it would have been ideal to see some more technical moves outside of his bull rush.
That said, there weren’t any inherent weaknesses in his game either. He is likely entrenched as the opening-day nose tackle given his performance, and I expect him to be one of the most consistent rookies for this team. It was a good performance lacking the highs and lows of others, and thus he gets graded out in the middle of the pack.