Steelers Draft Wisconsin DT Keeanu Benton in 2nd Round
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Wisconsin defensive lineman Keeanu Benton with the 49th pick, their second in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft on Friday.
Benton, a 6-foot-4, 315 defensive tackle from Janesville, Wisconsin will continue the pipeline from the Badgers defense to the Steelers, where he will join fellow former Wisconsin defenders T.J. Watt and Isaiahh Loudermilk on the Pittsburgh front seven.
Benton had 36 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks as a senior with the Badgers in 2022. He played four seasons in Wisconsin, and was a two-time All-Big Ten selection. He played 45 career games in Madison.
Benton figures to play three-technique defensive tackle in the Steelers’ most-frequent four-man Nickel and Dime fronts, where he can work behind starters Cam Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi.
The Steelers did not retain 2022 backups Chris Wormley and Tyson Alualu in an attempt to revamp their depth at that position. In addition to drafting Benton, the Steelers also signed free agents Braeden Fehoko and Armon Watts as interior defensive linemen.
Benton join Joey Porter Jr. as the Steelers’ second round picks, both of which came on the defensive side of the ball. Benton is the Steelers’ highest-drafted defensive lineman since Heyward in 2011, who went at pick No. 31.