Bench Press Results for OL and TE are in...

How many times an OL or TE prospect can bench 225 lbs. isn't necessarily an indicator of whether or not he will have success in the NFL. It does, however, give an idea of the prospect's upper body strength which is an important asset in pass blocking (as the initial punch is essentially a bench press motion). Leg strength is more important for run blocking (particularly drive blocking), but upper body strength comes into play when finishing off a block (since these days they let blockers use their hands to push more before calling a holding penalty). Interestingly, Mike Adams was only able to do 19 reps at the combine. We've seen him struggle more so in pass blocking than run blocking, and part of that is due to lack of ideal upper body strength.

Here are some results of note. Guys with shorter arms tend to do better than long-armed guys because the weight has to travel less distance to count as a "rep".

Russell Bondine - C from UNC led with 42 reps (anything over 40 is impressive)

Joe Don Duncan - TE from tiny Dixie St. led all TEs with 35 reps (impressive for a TE). He might run a slow forty but has added value in that he is capable as a long snapper.

Brandon Thomas - OT from Clemson did 36 reps which is impressive considering he has long arms. He played LT but is only 6'3" and may remind some of Kelvin Beachum. He's likely better suited for LG, but could be an intriguing mid-round guy if the Steelers are interested in drafting an OL.

Greg Robinson - met expectations with 32 reps and could really be making a push at this combine to pass Matthews for the top spot. That's in part because...

Jake Matthews - only benched 24 reps. That's not good for an elite OT.

Jace Amaro - surprised with 28 reps. That's more than I think most expected from him, and could help his cause as a blocker.

Arthur Lynch - also had 28 reps, which is good, but probably was expected.

Troy Niklas - right behind with 27, another good result for a guy with long arms

CJ Fiedorowicz - 25, again not bad, but about where expected

Eric Ebron - 24, some maybe expected more from him, but he is the smallest of the top TE prospects and likely the fastest, so this is a good result

Cyrus Kuoandjio - 21, that has to be a bit disappointing for him even though he has long arms. Will be interesting to see how he performs in the drills.

Austin Safarian-Jenkins - 20, also disappointing. Speed was a concern, but strength wasn't supposed to be. Ebron, Amaro, and Niklas have the first leg up on him, so now let's see how ASF runs. He came in at 262, which is 10-15 lbs. light for him. Maybe that cost him some strength?

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