CBS Sports Tabs Steelers DT Keeanu Benton As A Great ‘Rookie-Team Fit’

When the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Wisconsin defensive tackle Keeanu Benton it felt like a match made in heaven. The Steelers love to stop the run and play in a division filled with run-heavy teams, and Benton is a really good run stopper. Pittsburgh has an aging defensive line and Benton will be looking to continue the tradition of great defensive linemen in the Steel City.

For this reason it just feels like Benton to Pittsburgh is a great match, and I’m not the only one who thinks this. Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports listed Benton and the Steelers as the ninth-best “rookie-team fit.”

“Benton is an ultra-physical, stunningly explosive nose tackle with an assertive play style and powerful hands,” wrote Trapasso. “A three-down defender who’s just as apt to crumble the pocket on third down as he is to blow up a run play behind the line, Benton feels like a classic Steelers interior defensive lineman who’s going to bring it every snap he’s on the field.”

While Benton may see most of his snaps at a nose tackle this season, there is potential for the second-round draft pick to move around the defensive line later in his career. For now, with players like Cameron Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi returning there is no need for that. There is, however, need for a quality nose tackle and Benton certainly fits the bill.

Since the 2021 season the Steelers have been looking to shore up their defensive line. After signing Ogunjobi last offseason, which proved to be a help, the team still needed a nose tackle. In steps Benton, who will hopefully be a big upgrade over Montravius Adams.

The Steelers finished the 2022 season with the ninth-best run defense, allowing only 1,838 yards, but still had games in which they were gashe. Looking at the first meeting against the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh couldn’t stop the run, allowing 215 yards on the ground in a 16-14 loss. Because of this, there was still a lot of room for improvement and made grabbing a defensive lineman so important.

The Steelers are synonymous with a great defense that stops the run with a suffocating defensive front. Benton will likely play a big part in that not only this year but in the future too. This is why Benton to the Steelers made so much sense and is a perfect fit.

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