Chris Amico preps for the bench press test at the NFL Combine last year.
The NFL Combine continues with the first group of arrivals (Special Teams, Kickers, Offensive Linemen, Tight Ends - click the link above for a full list of these players) working out today. For tight ends and offensive linemen, positions that place a heavy emphasis on strength and blocking, the bench press is the workout we want to look at.
The bench press is all about upper body strength + endurance. Sure, these players can max out on the bench but what does that really accomplish? Being strong is one thing, but being strong for 60 minutes is another.
The NFL breaks down the purpose of the bench press test at the Combine:
The bench press is a test of strength -- 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.
Let's take a look at the top performers (via NFL.com).
|Richard Quinn||North Carolina||24|
|Jared Cook||South Carolina||23|
|Brandon Pettigrew||Oklahoma State||22|
|Marquez Branson||Central Arkansas||22|
The target number for tight ends is 22 reps.
|Louis Vasquez (LG)||Texas Tech||39|
|Travis Bright (RG)||BYU||34|
|Juan Garcia (C)||Washington||34|
|Alex Boone (LT/RT)||Ohio State||33|
|A.Q. Shipley (C)||Penn State||33|
|Jason Smith (LT)||Baylor||33|
|Robby Felix (C)||Texas-El Paso||33|
|Jon Cooper (C)||Oklahoma||31|
|Jamon Meredith (LT/LG)||South Carolina||31|
|Ray Feinga (LG)||BYU||30|
|Bob Bruggerman (OL)||Iowa||30|
|Eric Wood (C)||Louisville||30|
|Alex Fletcher (C)||Stanford||30|
The target number for offensive linemen is 25 reps.
A high number of reps doesn't translate to success for any position. Just ask Tank Tyler who topped all Combine invitees in 2007 with 42 reps.
Kickers and punters aren't required to lift at the Combine but some of them do. David Buehler, kicker out of USC, did participate and dominated. 25 reps. A few more fist fights and a more abrasive attitude and he'll be the second coming of Sebastian Janikowski
Quick reminder on the full schedule for this first group:
Wednesday: Travel, Registration, Pre-exam & X-ray, Orientation, Interviews
Thursday: Measurements, Exams, Media, Psych Tests, Interviews
Friday: NFLPA Meeting, Psych Tests, PK/ST Workout, Interviews
Today: Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), Departure
We'll be updating more numbers on the offensive linemen and tight ends as they are released. Click through to check it out.
TIGHT ENDS - VERTICAL LEAP
The target for tight ends is 32 inches.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN - 40 YARD DASH
The target for offensive linemen is 5.3 seconds.