Steelers draft grades: Pittsburgh steals the show in the 2023 NFL Draft
By Tommy Jaggi
Round 2 (pick 49): DL Keeanu Benton
In a typical draft, I would probably be thrilled with adding a player like Keeanu Benton to the Pittsburgh Steelers roster. However, considering how well the value was everywhere else in the draft, this was one of Omar Khan's lowest-value picks with respect to where they took him.
I totally understand the thought process here though. Benton was the 51st overall player this year, according to the consensus draft board, and the Steelers took him at pick 49 (which is essentially right on value). But it's worth considering how poor the interior defensive line talent was after him.
Outside of Gervon Dexter Sr. -- an incredibly raw boom-or-bust DT who went four picks later -- Benton was the last remaining IDL before there was a drastic drop-off in talent at the position. Additionally, the former Wisconsin defender has a solid blend of traits. At 6'3 5/8'' and 309 pounds with nearly 34'' arms, Benton tested as an 89th percentile athlete.
Benton has solid college tape and the arrow is pointed up for the 21-year-old defender. There were a handful of players I liked better when the Steelers were on the clock with the 49th overall pick, but Khan went with the best remaining defensive tackle. He should find himself in a rotation early in his career.