NY Jets trade for Aaron Rodgers in 7-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft

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Round 3, 74th Overall, NY Jets: Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin

Keeanu Benton is quickly becoming one of my favorite Jets targets in this draft. The four-year standout at Wisconsin is exactly the type of run-stuffing interior lineman the Jets need on their defense.

At 6-foot-4, 315 pounds, Benton blends raw power and strength with excellent length that makes him arguably the best run-stuffer in this class. He played a lot of nose tackle at Wisconsin, but he's versatile enough to play anywhere from over center to a 3-tech role.

Benton earned All-Big Ten honors twice at Wisconsin and, in many ways, was the heart of his team's defense. He uses his wrestling background to gain leverage on opposing linemen despite his tall frame.

While Benton isn't the most explosive pass rusher at this stage, he has continued to improve that area of his game every year. Pro Football Focus listed Benton as finishing with 6.0 sacks and 11 QB hits this past season, which were both new career highs.

He has enough athleticism as well to make me believe he could continue to improve his impact on passing downs. Right now, he's already a plus-starter on early downs with the ability to develop into more of a three-down player in a couple of years.

That's really what the Jets are missing on their defensive line. The Jets struggled to defend the run last season, especially when Quinnen Williams was off the field. Benton would be a massive upgrade over the likes of Sheldon Rankins, Solomon Thomas, and Nathan Shepherd in that respect.

And with Rankins, Thomas, and Shepherd all set to hit free agency, defensive tackle is an underrated need for the Jets this offseason.

Think of Benton as the Jets' replacement for Foley Fatukasi, only a year too late.