Steelers news: Pre-draft visit with Keeanu Benton, free agent additions, and more
By Tommy Jaggi
It's been an eventful week for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After losing Terrell Edmunds in free agency to the Philadelphia Eagles, Omar Khan went out and signed a former first-round safety. Pittsburgh also added a nose tackle who could compete for a spot on the final roster in 2023.
All the while, the Steelers have continued their scouting trail and more names are being added to their pre-draft visit list. With less than four weeks until the 2023 NFL Draft, we are getting a very good idea of the players and positions they could target early. Here's the latest Steelers news.
On Friday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers added yet another name as a top-30 visit this offseason: Wisconsin defensive lineman Keeanu Benton. This is a player who has been connected to the Steelers since the beginning of February at the Senior Bowl.
At 6'3 5/8'' and 309 pounds with 33 7/8'' arms, Benton is a versatile interior defender who has the frame and power to play across multiple fronts. Since the retirement of Stephon Tuitt, the Steelers have been searching for an upgrade alongside Cameron Heyward. Benton joins Florida's Gervon Dexter as the only other interior defensive lineman to earn a pre-draft visit from the Steelers thus far.
In addition to DT Keeanu Benton, the Steelers have also scheduled visits with North Dakota State offensive lineman, Cody Mauch, and Purdue wide receiver, Charlie Jones, per Mark Kaboly of The Athletic.
More Steelers news:
In other Steelers news, Pittsburgh has recently found a replacement for Terrell Edmunds with former first-round safety Keanu Neal. The hard-hitting safety earned a Pro Bowler in his second season with the Falcons, but injuries have derailed the latter half of his career. Neal will likely play in the box as a strong safety and could serve as the team's dimebacker in passing situations. This doesn't take them out of the running for drafting a safety early.
In addition to Neal, Pittsburgh also added a nose tackle recently in free agency with former Chargers DT Breiden Fehoko. Unlike Neal, who is expected to play a fairly significant role, the Fehoko addition is strictly a depth signing. He will compete with Montravius Adams this summer for a chance to stick around on the 2023 roster.
The most recent mock draft from CBS Sports has the Steelers going back to the player that has been most frequently linked to them from the beginning. Kyle Stackpole has Pittsburgh taking Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. with the 17th overall pick.
In this particular mock, Georgia OT Broderick Jones goes one pick before the Steelers are on the clock, while Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon lands with the Patriots at pick 14. It's worth noting that Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan were not on hand for Penn State's Pro Day as the NFL owners' meeting was wrapping up, but they quickly brought Porter in for a pre-draft top-30 visit.