It will surprise nobody if SMU defensive end Margus Hunt proves to be workout warrior at the Combine. The former track athlete (6-8, 277) has a serious combination of strength and speed. He showed off the former in the bench press with 38 reps of 225 pounds. That tied for the most by the defensive linemen and easily led all of the defensive ends. Hunt could be a star in Indianapolis who rises up draft boards.
Missouri Southern State defensive tackle Brandon Williams was superb in the bench press. He matched Hunt with 38 reps. Williams (6-1, 335) has an advantage of short arms (32.58) and a barrel chest. He was a productive pass-rusher in college and could help his stock if he continues to have a great Combine.
TCU clearly has a great strength and conditioning program. Wideout Josh Boyce did extremely well on the bench press and defensive end Stansly Maponga followed suit. Maponga (6-2, 256) totaled an impressive 30 reps on the bench. That is a large total for a defender who is less than 260 pounds. Maponga needs a good Combine to help his draft stock after his dip in production in 2012.
Illinois defensive tackle Akeem Spence (6-1, 307) was a speed defender in college, but he showed some serious power at the Combine. Spence totaled 37 reps on the bench press; second only to Hunt and Brandon Williams. The short-armed Spence had an advantage, but it still was a good performance to help him get notice among a deep class of defensive tackles.
LSU defensive tackle Bennie Logan (6-2, 309) was heavier than expected at the Combine. Apparently that extra weight was good, productive weight because he was able to manage 30 reps on the bench press. Logan has some speed and explosiveness, so it wouldn't be surprising if he is a standout in the field drills. Logan could be a workout warrior among the defensive linemen.
At the Senior Bowl, UCLA defensive end Datone Jones showed off a powerful physique that clearly illustrated the time he devoted to the weight room. Jones had a good performance on the bench press at the Combine with 29 reps. There were only three-edge defenders who did better.
Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner totaled 25 reps on the bench press. It was a solid total that won't help or hurt him. Werner (6-3, 266) should perform well in the field work.
Two defenders who had disappointing totals were South Carolina defensive end Devin Taylor and Florida State's Brandon Jenkins. Taylor (6-7, 266) has really long arms, but still only managed 14 reps. However, he has the frame to get bigger. Jenkins (6-2, 251) is undersized and managed only 18 reps. He missed all of last season with a foot injury, but clearly didn't use that time to add some strength for the NFL. Both players' stocks could be hurt by their underwhelming displays of strength.
Texas A&M's Damontre Moore, suprisingly, racked up the lowest - and most disappointing - total of the defensive linemen. He managed only 12 reps of 225 pounds. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder does have longer arms, but he needs more strength for the NFL. Moore's low bench press total could be a red flag for some teams.
There were a lot of the elite defensive line prospects who passed on the bench press. That group included Utah's Star Lotulelei, Florida's Sharrif Floyd, LSU's Barkevious Mingo, LSU's Sam Montgomery, Purdue's Kawann Short, Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins and Oregon's Dion Jordan. Lotulelei and Jordan had injury issues that prevented them from lifting.