All Keeanu Benton did during Senior Bowl week was improve his draft stock.
Benton was a wrecking ball and not many offensive linemen were able to beat him in one on ones.
He was already known as a great run defender while at Wisconsin, but not as much for the athlete and pass rusher he is.
Now, scouts know how good of an athlete and pass rusher that Benton can be, in addition to being a great run defender.
He received high praise from a very well-respected Louis Riddick.
Musgrave looks like a future All Pro the way he runs and catches the ball.— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) February 3, 2023
Benton should become an exceptional inside 3 down DT that can stop the run and rush the passer.
Additionally, Benton also received high praise from The Athletic’s Dane Brugler.
“Wisconsin’s Keeanu Benton entered the week as my clear No. 1 senior defensive tackle, and he backed that up. A nose tackle in the Badgers’ scheme, Benton is a stout run defender, but his potential as a pass rusher is intriguing,” said Brugler. “Using both quickness and power, he consistently won his one-on-one reps and showed why he landed in the second round of my latest mock draft.”
This was seen all week. It is not a fluke week either. This is who he is and unfortunately, the defense at Wisconsin didn't showcase how good of a player he is.
While a member of the Wisconsin Badgers, Benton was not asked to rush the passer as much as he should've been. While playing nose tackle, he was great at stuffing the run, but didn’t have many pass-rushing opportunities.
While NFL defenses want to have lighter boxes, players like Benton are going to be more important in the NFL.
Big frames defensive tackles that can stop the run, but also rush the passer at a high level is exactly what the NFL is looking for.
During the Senior Bowl game, he flashed. Benton had a quick win at the line of scrimmage, registering a hit on TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan as he threw the ball.
He also recorded another quarterback hit later in the game.
Benton also ran a stunt with Bowling Green’s Karl Brooks, which created pressure on the quarterback.
Benton showed versatility as well this week. He is capable of lining up in the nose tackle, 1- technique, and 3-technique along the defensive line.
Benton's stock rose throughout the week, and we’ve seen how scouts are raving about his potential.
He was arguably the biggest riser of the week. A player that could sneak his way into the top 60 picks of this draft.
Ike Taylor, a Pittsburgh Steelers scout, had high praise for Keeanu Benton at the senior bowl. While on the Bleav In Steelers podcast, Taylor had this to say about Benton.
“There is no limit or ceiling for him. Keanu just dominated and then you see the short amount of space between the center and the guards how much they can work with and it’s little to nothing for him.”
It was a very impressive week for Benton, who went to Mobile, Alabama with a purpose and left accomplishing just that, impressing many scouts/teams in attendance.
I fully expect Benton to be a second-round selection.
However, I also wouldn't be shocked to hear teams have him as a late first-rounder after his senior bowl performance.