The Wisconsin Badgers have made many headlines this winter due to the phenomenal recruiting commitments new head coach Luke Fickell and his staff have been able to secure. However, what is sometimes lost in all the excitement for the future of the program is that several now-former Badgers players may hear their names called in the 2023 NFL Draft. One of these players is defensive tackle Keeanu Benton.
Related: Keeanu Benton NFL Scouting Report
NFL Scout with Pittsburgh Steelers Had High Praise for Keeanu Benton
This past week has been an important one for college seniors that have declared for the 2023 NFL Draft. Some of them, like Keeanu Benton, were invited to participate in the Reese’s Senior Bowl, which was held on Saturday February 4. Leading up to the game, the 125 players that were invited to participate went through drills, practice, and got to meat with representatives from each of the NFL’s 32 teams.
During this week of training and meetings, Ike Taylor, a scout for the Pittsburgh Steelers, came away very impressed with Benton. He made it a point to praise the Wisconsin defensive tackle on the Bleav In Steelers podcast:
“Keeanu, from my perspective, just dominated. Being consistent and dominating. For a guy to be that big and that agile was very impressive. That’s a lot of things you can’t coach. That’s just God-given talent. Keeanu had to work on that and not be lazy on his ability. And for him, there is no limit, ain’t no ceiling for him. So Keeanu just dominated.
“The short amount of space between the center and the guards, how much they can work with, it’s little to nothing. So for him to have a full box of tools to be able to maneuver. Bull rush, spin, get skinny. A quick first step was very impressive. So when I saw that from Keeanu, I was like, ‘Man, this dude is special.'”
The Steelers, of course, already have one former Wisconsin Badgers defensive player on their team: NFL Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt. Could the Steelers be looking to add another Badgers defender to their roster? It sounds like there will be several teams interested in Benton.
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