Keeanu Benton, DL, Wisconsin
WHERE HE'S FROM: Benton attended Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville, Wis., where he was named First-Team All-State in football and compiled a career record of 127-8 as a wrestler (he was the state's Division I runner-up as a junior and a senior in the 285-pound division). Benton went on to the University of Wisconsin and became the first athlete from his high school to play Division I sports in college in over 30 years, according to draft analyst Dane Brugler of The Athletic.
WHAT HE'S DONE: Benton played for the Badgers for four years and was a team captain as a senior. He was a Second-Team All-Big Ten selection in 2021 and earned Third-Team All-Big Ten honors in 2022. Benton impressed NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah during an "outstanding" Senior Bowl week. That followed up a season in which Benton had registered 11 quarterback hits and a career-high 10 tackles for a loss. His ability to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage was evidenced by his nine career sacks in 21 career starts at nose tackle, but he was also deployed up and down the line of scrimmage at times at Wisconsin. Benton's 5.08-second 40-yard dash was the eighth-fastest registered by an interior defensive lineman at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "The Steelers got three of my Top 40 players (offensive tackle Broderick Jones, No. 19; cornerback Joey Porter Jr., No. 23; and Benton, No. 40). I like what they're doing in Pittsburgh." _ Jeremiah