The most impressive bench press total belongs to North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper. He weighed in heavier than expected at 311 pounds and apparently that added weight is muscle. Cooper tied for second with the largest number of reps on the bench press with 35. He benefits from having short arms (33 inches) but the strength was impressive to see considering he is known as a blocker who features rare speed and agility. Cooper is helping himself in the early going at the Combine.
The current favorite to be the first player selected is Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel. He had a respectable total of 27 reps on the bench press. Joeckel beats defenders mainly on his speed, agility and technique so he should perform well in the field work.
Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher is the second-rated tackle, and he matched Joeckel with 27 reps. It was a good total, as Fisher (6-7, 306) had good power as a collegiate blocker. There aren't any strength criticisms of Fisher.
Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson (6-6, 303) has longer arms (35 3/8) than Joeckel (34 1/4) or Fisher (34 1/2), yet Johnson was able to push up 225 pounds one more time than those linemen. Johnson's 28 reps was the largest total among the first-round offensive tackles. He was known as a pass blocker who needed work on his run defense, so this bench press total was a good sign for him.
Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker had a surprising total of 21 reps on the bench press. Fluker (6-5, 339) is a power player so it was somewhat surprising that he didn't produce more on the bench press. In Fluker's defense, he has extremely long arms at 36 3/4 inches. Teams have and will see how devastating Fluker is on tape, so it is doubtful that Fluker's bench press will hurt him at all.
Wisconsin center Travis Frederick is another lineman who had a disappointing total with 21 reps on the bench press. Frederick (6-4, 312) was a power run blocker for the Badgers and he has short arms (33 inches). Thus, it was surprising that he didn't record a higher time. Typically interior linemen have an advantage in the bench press, but Frederick had one of the lower totals among the offensive linemen. Frederick looks like he could use more time in the weight room.
Apparently, the effective Wisconsin offensive line has been getting the job down on a lot of natural ability. Badgers' tackle Ricky Wagner had only 20 reps on the bench press. Wagner (6-6, 308) is more athletic than one would think, but he could use more power to knock linemen off the ball in the NFL. His bad bench press total isn't going to help his chances of being a second-day pick.
Virginia offensive tackle Oday Aboushi had a disappointing total with only 17 reps on the bench press. That was the third lowest of any lineman who participated. Aboushi has short arms (33 7/8) so that isn't an excuse that works for him. In college, he was a speed and athletic tackle, but Aboushi (6-5, 308) needs to gain muscle for the NFL.
The second-lowest total belonged to USC center Khaled Holmes. He only totaled 13 reps on the bench press, but there is talk that he hurt his pectoral muscle and called it short. Aside from a possible injury, Holmes (6-3, 302) has the excuse of long arms (35 inches). Holmes is an interior lineman who needs to have the strength to hold up against heavy nose tackles. That was a problem for him in his senior season, and the bench press total was evidence that it could reman an issue in the NFL. Holmes needs to improve on that total significantly at his pro day.
The lowest number on the bench press belonged to Kent State's Brian Winters. He had only nine reps, but that was because he also suffered an injury.
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