2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Keeanu Benton

  • Keeanu Benton, 6-3/312

  • Defensive Tackle

  • Wisconsin

  • Keeanu Benton Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Very physical
  • Tough as nails
  • Good motor
  • Strong hands
  • Strength to work off blocks
  • Disciplined
  • Good length
  • Has some quickness
  • Active hands
  • Could fit as a five-technique in a 3-4

  • Weaknesses:
  • Jack of all trades, but master of none
  • Could be solid pro, but not very productive as an NFL pass rusher

  • Summary: Over the past few seasons, Benton displayed steady progress, turning himself into a good player for the Badgers. In 2020, Benton recorded 20 tackles. He was improved the next season, picking up 2.5 sacks and 24 tackles. As a senior, Benton totaled 4.5 sacks and 36 tackles. He then put together an impressive week of practice at the Senior Bowl.

    In the pass rush, Benton flashes the ability to contribute at putting pressure on the quarterback. He is quick off the snap, and he plays with good pad level to gain leverage against offensive linemen. With active hands, Benton has developed good technique and is smart about how he attacks guards. Benton brings a steady motor in both phases and doesn’t quit on plays, driving hard through the whistle. While he is not overwhelmingly fast or powerful, Benton is a well-balanced defender who can contribute.

    Benton is strong and physical at the point of attack in run defense. He uses his power and length to take on blocks and is very reliable at holding his gap. There is no doubt that Benton has developed strength given that he is adept at shedding blocks to flow to the ball for stops or disruption. Quickly in the NFL, Benton will be a plus run defender at defensive end.

    In the 2023 NFL Draft, Benton could be a second-day pick.

    Player Comparison: Harrison Phillips. Benton reminds somewhat of Phillips coming out of Stanford. Phillips (6-3, 307) and Benton are almost identical in size and have strength in run defense while being able to contribute some pass rush. Phillips was a third-round pick in 2018, and Benton could go in that range this year during the 2023 NFL Draft.


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