Best Bench Press Records in NFL Combine History

Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

As the final days of February trickle away, our great nation’s third month approaches. That means that we’ll soon be diving headfirst into all conversations related to the NFL Scouting Combine and all of the prospects that the Philadelphia Eagles might see as being interesting. Perhaps you’ve noticed. An event that we once learned about through hearsay has evolved into must-see television annually. Its individual drills, the 40-yard dash for instance, are talked about long after the curtain is drawn. That’s also true of the NFL combine bench press record.

Every year, we obsess over vertical jumps, broad jumps, and which future NFL stars had the best showing on the bench press. While seeing a prospect lift 225 pounds 40 times or more won’t guarantee he’ll be a star, it’s definitely worth a few tweets and Instagram posts.

Let’s discuss some of the best showings we have seen ahead of another combine.

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NFL Combine bench press record: Best showings by prospects and every player to exceed 40 reps

One of pro football’s most important offseason events has taken on a life of its own. That’s also true of some of its individual events. At any time, a new legend or folklore can be born. Just ask Deion Sanders, John Ross, or Justin Ernest.

The latter owns the record for most bench press reps during the NFL Scouting Combine. Here’s a look at the all-time best showings (and every player to exceed 40 reps.

  • 1999 (51 reps)- Defensive tackle Justin Ernest, Eastern Kentucky

  • 2011 (49 reps) DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State

  • 2006 (45 reps) D-lineman Mike Kudla, Ohio State

  • 2000 (45 reps) DT Leif Larsen, UTEP

  • 2010 (45 reps) Guard Mitch Petrus, Arkansas

  • 2006 (44 reps) DT Brodrick Bunkley, Florida State

  • 2020 (44 reps) OG Netane Muti, Fresno State

  • 2010 (44 reps) DT Jeff Owens, Georgia 

  • 2012 (44 reps) DT Dontari Poe, Memphis

  • 2010 (43 reps) DT Kyle Harrington, UMass 

  • 2005 (43 reps) OG Scott Young, BYU 

  • 2014 (42 reps) Center Russell Bodine, North Carolina 

  • 2018 (42 reps) DT Harrison Phillips, Stanford

  • 2004 (42 reps) DT Isaac Sopoaga, Hawaii 

  • 2007 (42 reps) DT Tank Tyler, NC State 

  • 2012 (41 reps) C David Molk, Michigan 

  • 2006 (41 reps) LB Terna Nande, Miami (OH)

  • 2004 (41 reps) DE Igor Olshansky, Oregon (2004)

  • 2018 (41 reps) DT Vita Vea, Washington

One of the most unique and entertaining aspects of the NFL revolves around its ability to turn everything, including its offseason, into can’t-miss affairs. Its draft brings in more ratings than the NBA and MLB Drafts. Preseason games, exhibition affairs that won’t affect the win-loss total of either team, have the potential to create higher ratings than some of baseball’s postseason games.

The NFL Scouting Combine, with the NFL Network’s assistance, has become one of those events that we place on the calendar. This year’s version, as always, figures to

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