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2023 NFL Draft: Wisconsin Badgers DL Keeanu Benton scouting report

The Janesville, Wis. native should hear his name called on Friday of the NFL Draft.

Syndication: Journal Sentinel Mark Stewart / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Height: 6037

Weight: 311 pounds

40-yard dash: 5.08 seconds

Vertical jump: 29.5 inches

Broad jump: 111 inches (9’3”)

Short shuttle: 4.65 seconds

Three-cone drill: 7.34 seconds

Bench press: 25 reps

*All testing numbers are from the NFL Scouting Combine held in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Strengths: Benton possesses ideal size for the defensive tackle position. He’s a brute in the middle, is rarely moved off of his spot in run defense. Possesses good burst for a man of his size. Has good length, is able to extend and shed to disengage from offensive linemen. Is an effective pocket pusher with a growing repertoire of pass rush moves. Is able to move laterally down the line of scrimmage to maintain his gap integrity.

Weaknesses: While he’s a functional athlete, Benton is far from a freak athlete. He’s still limited as a pass rusher, though he is improving. Will likely be limited to base downs/run downs early in his career. If he doesn’t win a rep early, he likely won’t win it, can be a bit of a slow burn player.

Summary: Benton is a nose tackle prospect who has been rising throughout this career. Was simply a run stuffer his first couple seasons in Madison, and has continued to grow his scope as a player. He likely settles in as a slightly above average starting defensive tackle in the NFL, but will immediately contribute as a plus-level run defender. By year two or three, in the right environment, he should no longer be relegated to only run downs. Benton should carve out a nice career for himself as a big, long, strong defensive tackle.

Ideal Scheme Fit: Weakside A gap (1/2i) technique defensive tackle in an even front defense who can also play 3-4 nose tackle if necessary, though I think he has more potential and playmaking ability in a 4 man front.

Projected Round: Round 2-3