Top 10 most 225-pound bench press reps since 1999.
|1||51||Justin Ernest||1999||(DT), Eastern Kentucky|
|2||49||Stephen Paea||2011||(DT) Oregon State|
|=3||45||Petrus, Mitch||2010||(OG) Arkansas|
|=3||45||Mike Kudla||2006||(DE) Ohio State|
|=3||45||Leif Larsen||2000||(DT) Texas-El Paso|
|=6||44||Owens, Jeff||2010||(DT) Georgia|
|=6||44||Brodrick Bunkley||2006||(DT) Florida State|
|9||43||Scott Young||2005||(OG) BYU|
|=10||42||Tank Tyler||2007||(DT) North Carolina State|
|=10||42||Isaac Sopoaga||2004||(DT) Hawaii|
The NFL Combine has been, and will continue to be, one of a number of scouting events that make or break a former college football star’s draft chances.
All the little guys such as Michigan’s Denard Robinson and Oregon’s Kenjon Barner will be putting the pedal to the metal in the 40-yard dash. However, the bigger bodies colliding in the trenches will be looking to prove their strength and explosiveness to NFL scouts and coaches.
One way to test for both is not by asking these 300-plus pounders to lift as much as they can one time, but rather to lift a relatively light weight (at least for these behemoths) as many times as possible.
Of course, the amount of times a player can bench press 225 pounds will not directly correlate to success at the professional level. A great lift and overall workout will, however, put a player in line for a far higher draft selection and thus a far higher rookie salary. For example, few outside of Memphis had heard of Dontari Poe, but by the time he was done benching, he had catapulted himself into the first round of the 2012 Draft.
The 6-foot-3, 350-pound Poe started all 16 games at defensive tackle for the Chiefs after they selected him at No. 11-overall. However, while Poe’s story is one of early success, and several young NFL hopefuls on this list are guys you have heard of, a handful more are guys you have not.
The NFL Combine is a place to continue to get a good gauge on players. Organizations are about to invest millions of dollars into these rookies, and obviously they want to know as much about them as they can.
However, these names and times have proven that the measurements are, at best, an inexact science.
But how inexact? How much should teams value these physical attributes over success on the playing field, and over the level of competition a player from Alabama faced over a guy who dominated Division III, for example?