You won’t believe what kind of an impact the NFL Combine bench press has on prospect’s overall valuations. I remember my friend was prepping for wholesale jerseys the Combine and he always talked about the bench press like it was the ultimate period piece when it came to weighing his value. He was instantly confused when I asked him what the combination had to offer when it came to strength and conditioning.
To be honest, I wasn’t really clear on it myself. All I knew was that the bench press was a crucial component of the Combine for NFL hopefuls. I mean, I’ve seen the footage from the Combine and nothing is talked about more than the amount of reps these guys can put up.
It wasn’t until my friend drilled down into the nitty-gritty did I truly grasp how much emphasis was placed on the benches. He told me about the prescribed weight range; 225 pounds for unlimited reps. This was the be-all and end-all, the golden ticket, the almighty that had the most influence on a players evaluation.
The repetitions at 225 pounds could make or break a prospect’s draft position. It didn’t matter if a prospect was an exceptional performer in other Combine metrics – as long as they didn’t perform well in the bench press, their overall score could suffer.
Even the reps at bench press were ranked at the Combine. A world record is around 75 reps, with only a handful of players exceeding the mark throughout the years. Most prospects were considered exceptional with 40 reps. Generally speaking, anything less than 30 will surely turn some evaluators off.
Different scouts also judged the repetitions differently. Some coaches look for certain positions to put up more weight, while others prefer players who show off surprising performances. My friend was aware of that and he took the Combine guidelines seriously. He was out for as many reps as he could get that day and was laser-focused on reaching that 30 mark.
Most prospects hit the bench with loads of anxiety too. As it turns out, the bench press has a major psychological component as well as physiological. From the outside looking in, prospects didn’t just want to beat the other competition on the field, they wanted to outlift them in the gym too. Many of them felt the pressure to rep out and show others that they were the strongest on the field.
At the same time, scouts had their eyes wide open working for the next diamond in the rough. They would look at the results and judge the prospects based on the performance. They hoped to unearth a strength from someone who maybe wasn’t so noticeable at first glance.
But no matter how scouts judged the results – whether it was measured in pure strength or more discreet factors – one thing was for sure: the Combine bench press was an absolute game changer. Prospects knew that a good performance could lead to a great score – and cheap jerseys more often than not, that great score could lead to a big paycheck.
The bottom line is that the NFL Combine bench press had tremendous weight on a prospect’s overall evaluation. It was one of the few on-field activities that could make or break a career. The benches could change a player’s entire life in an instant – and for that reason alone, the 225-pound rep marker was worth every bit of attention it was receiving.