Alabama running back Trent Richardson (5-9, 228) did not participate after having minor knee surgery in January.
Boise State running back Doug Martin is a physical specimen. Looking at his physique, it is evident that he spends a lot of time in the weight room. Thus, it wasn't surprising that Martin (5-9, 223) put up an impressive total of 28 reps on the bench press to tie for the lead with running backs. Martin should run well and solidify his stock as a second-day pick.
The high score of 28 was matched by Utah State early entry Robert Turbin. The 5-foot-10, 222-pounder is a powerful back who looks like a mid-Day 3 selection. Turbin needs a strong Combine to help him standout over the other running back prospects.
Wisconsin fullback Bradie Ewing had the most disappointing performance of any player in the running back group. Ewing (6-0, 239) recorded only 14 reps on the bench press, the lowest total of any running back prospect that participated. That is half of what Martin or Turbin totaled. As a fullback with more weight, Ewing should have a better output than 14. Fullbacks can have a hard time getting drafted, and Ewing hurt his cause.
Considering that Florida running back Chris Rainey is 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, it is somewhat impressive that he was able to reach 16 reps on the bench press. If Rainey has a superb Combine, that will help him, but with well-founded durability concerns, he could fall into the undrafted ranks like small backs Derrick Locke and Noel Devine did in 2011.
Like Rainey, Oregon running back LaMichael James (5-8, 194) had a decent total with 15 reps on the bench press. James has the same size and durability concerns as Rainey, but not to the same degree. James looks like a second-day pick. He needs to run well in the 40-yard dash to confirm his speed.
Tennessee running back Tauren Poole had an strong performance with 24 reps. Poole (5-10, 205) is not a big back but displayed some nice strength on the bench press. He had a good week at the East-West Shrine as well.
Temple running back Bernard Pierce (6-0, 218) had a disappointing total of 17 reps on the bench press. That was only one rep better than Rainey, whom Pierce outweighs by almost 40 pounds. Pierce is a tough between-the-tackles runner, so one would think that he would have posted a better number.
A lot of running back prospects decided not to do the bench press. That group included: Miami's Lamar Miller, Baylor's Terrance Ganaway, Cincinnati's Isaiah Pead, Washgington's Chris Polk and Virginia Tech's David Wilson. Ganaway's decision was because of an injury.
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