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NFL Combine: Power Prevails For Offensive Line and Running Backs

Future NFL Prospects gather this week at the NFL Combine. Today, OL and RBs tested their strength on the bench press.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

Today, the second day of “measurements”, offensive linemen and running backs took to the bench press to display their strength. Or, in the case of a couple of these plays, they displayed their lack of the aforementioned attribute.

This year’s NFL Draft isn’t considered deep with offensive linemen, but there are many running backs that will will hear their names called all on day two of the draft who could see significant snaps their first year.

Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky

This should come as no surprise, as Lamp is regarded by most as the best guard in this year’s draft. He put up 34 reps of 225 pounds and his measurements would indicate he had grown since they were last taken at Mobile during the Senior Bowl. (His arms measured shorter at the Senior Bowl.

When he was asked about this during his interview, he gave a laugh, replying “Yeah, I think it was just a mad measurement in Mobile. I was 32 [inches]. I have been close to 33 before at my junior day. I even told the guy down there, ‘I think you shorted me a little bit,’ and he said, ‘no,’ so … I moved on.”

Height: 6040
Weight: 309
Arms: 32 1/4
Hand: 10 5/8

Isaac Asiata, G, Utah

While Lamp is seen as a tackle in college who will make the move to the inside, Asiata played both guard positions during his collegiate years. Projected originally as a 3rd-4th rounder, after having a strong weigh in and putting up 35 reps at the bench press his stock could be rising.

Asiata had the highest total from the offensive linemen during today’s competition. What made the feat even more impressive is that he possesses longer arms than his competitors who managed to put up 34 reps.

Height: 6030
Weight: 323
Arms: 33 3/4
Hand: 10 3/8

Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma

If there was ever a poster boy for the “bull in the china shop”, Perine is that guy. Displaying exceptional strength at Oklahoma, but lacking in the agility and footwork typically seen from most present day running backs, Perine finds himself compared to players like Michael Turner from analysts such as Lance Zierlein.

Samaje is a mean, hard nose styled runner who isn’t going to try and side step you. He will try and run someone over. That strength was displayed today as he had the highest number of reps of all the backs with 30. The next highest total from his positional group was six reps less.

The real test to see if Samaje is a Combine winner will come later in the week during the three cone drill, 40 yard dash and similar events designed to test speed and agility. If he can shed the bull in china shop motif and display loose hips and quicker feet

Height: 5110
Weight: 233
Arms: 30 3/8
Hand: 10

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford - Disappointing showing

While most analysts and scouts haven’t portrayed McCaffrey as a physical runner, the project late 1st round pick had a dissapointing showing at the bench press as he was only able to put up 10 repetitions. While not the lowest total of the day (DJ Pumphrey gets that honor with 5), most expect a player with a grade as high as his to show more strength at the bar.

Still, this may not deter teams who see the potential in his high motor and on the field elusiveness as his key traits. For McCaffrey, and the rest of the running backs, the true tests come later in the week during the agility drills.
Height: 5110
Weight: 202
Arms: 30
Hand: 9

If you have questions about specific players from today’s totals that were not mentioned here please leave their name in the comments and I will provide the information.

Example: Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
Height: 6040
Weight: 305
Arms: 33 3/8
Hand: 10 1/4