Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas put up the best results for any defensive back. He pressed the bar for 28 reps to lead all of the defensive backs. Thomas (5-9, 213) had an impressive performance at the East-West Shrine, too, and could use the Combine to continue his strong postseason.
Despite Thomas' success in the bench press, Boise State's Jamar Taylor, in a sense, did even better. He produced 22 reps on the bench - as extremely impressive considering he weighs less than 200 pounds. Taylor (5-11, 192) helped himself at the Senior Bowl and the bench press was a great start to standing out at the Combine.
LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu gave NFL teams another red flag to add to his negatives column. He totaled only four reps on the bench press in an embarrassing performance. Obviously, the 5-foot-9, 186-pounder is undersized, but that low of a total illustrates that Mathieu was lazy about hitting the weight room last fall when he had nothing else to do.
Mathieu was kicked out of school last offseaason and wasn't playing football. He had plenty of time to improve his body for the Combine, but apparently chose to spend it elsewhere. Mathieu gave NFL teams yet another reason to pass on him.
Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks had a poor showing on the bench press with 10 reps. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder may have sacrificed some bulk in order to run a faster 40-yard dash. His 40 time is very important to his draft stock, so that could prove to be a wise decision if he runs well.
Behind Taylor, the next player who was sub 200 pounds had 16 reps. That was Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant. He had the third-highest total among cornerbacks. The 6-foot, 190-pound Trufant showed that he has some strength and the ability to jam at the line of scrimmage.
Connecticut's Dwayne Gratz had 22 reps, which tied for first place finish among the cornerbacks. Gratz (5-11, 201) looked well put together at the Senior Bowl weigh-in, so it isn't a surprise that he did well in the Combine bench press.
Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro (6-0, 214) is considered to be a definite first-round pick. He had 15 reps on the bench press. Vaccaro's total is acceptable and doesn't help or hurt him.
USC safety T.J. McDonald is one of the biggest safeties in the draft. The 6-foot-3, 219-pounder showed that it is functional weight with a solid 19 reps on the bench press.
Oregon safety John Boyett was rehabbing a knee injury all of last season, but he showed that he worked hard in the weight room. Boyett finished second among the safeties with 27 reps on the bench press. The 5-foot-10, 204-pounder won't take part in the field workouts.
Georgia safety Shawn Williams did extremely well on the bench press with 25 reps. The 6-foot, 213-pounder could use a strong Combine to help himself stand out in a packed safety class.
Notre Dame's Zeke Motta produced the lowest total for his positions. Despite being 6-foot-2, 213-pounds, he managed only 11 reps on the bench press. That is especially disappointing when you consider that Motta is one of the heaviest safeties in the draft class.
Florida safety Matt Elam (17), Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo (17), LSU safety Eric Reid (17), South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger (17) and Georgia Southern safety J.J. Wilcox (17) all had quality showings on the bench press.