None of the top three defensive back prospects - LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne (5-11, 188), Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick (6-2, 186) and North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins (5-10, 193) - participated in the bench press. It was disappointing because both Claiborne and Kirkpatrick are a little light. It makes one wonder if they are trying to conceal a lack of strength, or buy more time to work out in the weight room to improve their totals prior to their Pro Days.
A day after weighing in significantly shorter than advertised, Virginia's Chase Minnifield (5-10, 183) compounded the disappointment with the worst bench press total among any defensive back who participated. Minnifield totaled only seven reps on the bench press. With this lack of height and strength, Minnifield is sending up warning signs around his draft stock.
Boise State safety George Iloka (6-4, 225) put up a strong total of 20 reps. To make it even more impressive is that Iloka has long arms (34 1/2). If he runs well on Tuesday, he could build off a strong Senior Bowl with a good Combine. His agility and ability to flip his hips will be scrutinized tomorrow.
The best bench press total went to Arizona State cornerback Omar Bolden. He missed the 2011 season after getting injured in spring football. He pumped out 25 reps on the bench press on Monday. Obviously, Bolden (5-10, 202) has been working hard in the weight room while he rehabs. That was a nice win for Bolden.
Oklahoma cornerback Jamell Fleming (5-11, 206) showed off some serious strength with 23 reps in the bench press. That was second only to Bolden. Fleming needs a good Combine to help stand out among the mid-round cornerbacks.
One of the more impressive results from safeties came from Oklahoma State's Markelle Martin. The rangy centerfield-type safety logged 19 reps on the bench press. Martin (6-1, 207) is a hard hitter but is more of a free safety type, and that makes his total even more impressive.
A physical specimen at safety is Notre Dame's Harrison Smith. He posted 19 reps on the bench press. Smith (6-2, 213) had a quality total, but it is a little surprising that he did not get closer to the lead.
South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore (6-0, 190-pounds) had an average performance at 15 reps. Even though Gilmore didn't put up a big total, at least he participated.
Montana cornerback/safety Trumaine Johnson (6-2, 204) showed off some nice strength with 19 reps on the bench press. How Johnson performs in the 40-yard dash and the field agility drills could determine if teams view him as a safety or cornerback.
Another corner who posted an impressive total was Vanderbilt's Casey Hayward. He recorded 19 reps on the bench press. Hayward is a ball-hawking corner who needs a good Combine after an average Senior Bowl. Apparently, Vanderbilt has a good strength and conditioning coach because defensive back Sean Richardson had a big total with 22 reps.
Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley (5-10, 178) is undersized and really needs to fill out his frame. He managed 11 reps on the bench press. That is horrible considering how light he is, but he clearly has to add more strength in the NFL.
McNeese State safety Janzen Jackson, a former Tennessee Volunteer, had a disappointing total with only nine reps on the bench press. It was the third-lowest total of any defensive back. Jackson (5-11, 188) needs to perform well on the field to help get teams to look past his off-the-field problems.
If the Patriots get Richard Sherman, then I would have no choice but to quit watching and caring about NFL football. So for the love of the game, the Seahawks must NOT trade Sherman to the Patriots. (they shouldn't trade Sherman at all, unless they realize that the window of opportunity is officially shut)
As the NFL Draft approaches, I will be making weekly adjustments up until the 27th of April. Rest of the writeups will be coming later this week. Any questions/comments/criticisms can be voiced in the comments. I will respond to all.