Keeanu Benton
Keeanu Benton

Keeanu Benton

  • IDL Wisconsin
  • Senior
  • #92
  • 6'4"
  • 315lbs
  • Prospect
  • Big Ten

Prospect Summary

Keeanu Benton NFL Draft Scouting Report

NT, Wisconsin Badgers

Keeanu Benton is one of the best run-stuffing nose tackles in college football and this draft class. One of the more impactful players on the Badgers’ defense, Benton is an unmovable force for interior offensive linemen to deal with. He’s a stout presence that holds up with a strong anchor at the point of attack and flashes the ability to reset the line of scrimmage.

The first thing that popped on film was his combination of size, length, and brute strength. Benton can uproot an offensive lineman quickly after latching. With either two hands or one, he has the power to walk blockers into the backfield, creating havoc for the ball carrier. He fits his hands and punches well into the chest plate of his opponents. His long arm is vicious and suffocating with the ability to control the offensive lineman’s balance during the exchange. The Badgers use him on twists and stunts as a looper. He displayed some closing burst once he cleared blockers and had the quarterback in his sights. His power and strength are devastating for single blockers, especially centers, to handle and maintain. 

One thing I needed to see from Benton this season was a little more value on passing downs. He has added some quick moves to work his way to the quarterback. His production has increased as well—Benton has more sacks and QB hits than years prior. 

He has several positives about his game. That being said, Benton is not the most explosive or flexible athlete. You should not expect a high-level pass rusher from the middle of your defense. Be prepared for him to eat up space and blockers to assist his teammates. 

Benton is a former three-star recruit, a top-100 player at his position in the country, and a two-sport athlete with football and wrestling. Benton is a two-time state qualifier in wrestling and finished as a Division-I runner-up at 285 pounds. He has an outstanding record of 48-2 on the mat. This translates to the field as he can outpower and outlast opponents in tight quarters. His wrestling background helps his knowledge of leveraging and how to use his frame/length to overtake an opponent. 

As an NFL rookie, Benton projects as a traditional 0/1-technique nose tackle assigned with plugging running lanes and handling double teams. The emphasis defenses have put on playing with lighter fronts to limit offensive explosive passing plays makes a player of Benton’s skill set more valuable than in previous years. He will be tasked with keeping his linebackers and second-level defenders clean to scrape, flow, and locate the football. If his development with quicker hand counters continues, he can become a staple defensively with three-down value at a consistent rate. He must continue to build his plan of attack and playing under control consistently will be important too.

Top Reasons to Buy In:

  • Incredible raw power 
  • Outstanding run-stuffing value
  • Added quicker hand counters

Top Reasons For Concern:

  • Pass-rush value remains limited
  • Not an overly explosive athlete
  • Lacks versatility and alignment

Size (NFL Combine):

Height: 6′ 4”

Weight: 309 lbs

Arm Length: 33 7/8”

Hand Size: 9 3/4”

Athletic Testing (NFL Combine):

40-yard Dash: 5.08s

Vertical Jump: 29.5”

Broad Jump: 9′ 3”

Short-Shuttle: 4.65s

Three-Cone: 7.34s

Bench Reps: 25 reps

Ideal Role: Nose tackle

Scheme Fit: Odd-front base, attacking/gap exchanging 

TDN Consensus Grade: 77.00/100 (Third-Round Value)

  • Parson Grade: 77.00/100

Written By: Damian Parson

Exposures: Washington St. (2022), Maryland (2022)

Keeanu Benton NFL Draft Scouting Report. Add him to your big board here.