Steelers Rumors: Alex Highsmith deal, next Javon Hargrave, hype for newcomer

Keeanu Benton, Pittsburgh Steelers. Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports/Syndication: Journal-Sentinel

Steelers Rumors: Keeanu Benton drawing comps to be next Javon Hargrave

There’s no question that the first of two second-round picks made by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Joey Porter Jr. with the No. 32 pick sent in the Chase Claypool trade, has gotten far more publicity than the team’s other second-round selection, taking Wisconsin defensive lineman Keeanu Benton with their own pick at No. 49.

Having said that, Benton could have every bit as big of an impact as the legacy rookie — and perhaps even more so.

Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review dove into Benton’s impact as a player who Steelers defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has already affirmed will take over at nose tackle as the starter, a role held by Montravius Adams in 2022 and that needed an upgrade thereafter. And in doing so, there were comparsions made to Javon Hargrave, the former Steeler who is now with the 49ers after signing a monster deal this offseason.

The comparison comes from the fact that the two players, despite massive frames and playing a position largely known for being a plug against the run, who are special because of a unique ability to rush the passer from the nose or 1-tech.

Hargrave was also a Day 2 pick, selected in the third round in 2016. But with Benton’s blend of size, power and burst on the interior, the Steelers are certainly hoping they got tremendous value in finding a player who can have a similarly dominant impact in the trenches, if not immediately than soon.

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