The NFL Scouting Combine has come a long way from when it first started in 1982. Gone are the days when college football players would show up and run drills for the first time while coaches with stopwatches would time them in relative obscurity. Today, athletes practice drills like bench press, 40-yard dash and vertical jump hundreds of times before arriving and having their performances featured in front of a national television audience.
With the traditional Scouting Combine in Indianapolis canceled due to the pandemic, an unofficial event hosted by global health and wellness company EXOS will take place this weekend at their facilities in Arizona, Florida, and Texas. Even though it won't be the Combine we are used to, we decided to look back at some of the records set in individual categories. Here's a look at the bench press record, which measures the number of times a player can bench press 225 pounds in one set.
NFL Scouting Combine Bench Press Record
- 51 reps: Justin Ernest (1999), Eastern Kentucky, DT
The only player to bench press 225 pounds more than 50 times is Justin Ernest when the Eastern Kentucky defensive tackle had 51 repetitions at the 1999 Combine. Sadly, it did not elevate his draft status that suffered because of an injury-plagued senior year. Ernest went undrafted and later played with the New Orleans Saints for one season.
- 49 reps: Stephen Paea (2011) Oregon State, DT
- 45 reps: Mike Kudla (2006) Ohio State, DL
- 45 reps: Leif Larsen (2000) UTEP, DT
- 45 reps: Mitch Petrus (2010) Arkansas, G
- 44 reps: Netane Muti (2020) Fresno State, G
- 44 reps: Brodrick Bunkley (2006) FSU, NT
- 44 reps: Jeff Owens (2010) Georgia, DT
- 44 reps: Dontari Poe (2012) Memphis, DT
- 43 reps: Kyle Harrington (2010) UMass, DT
- 43 reps: Scott Young (2005) BYU, G
- 42 reps: Russell Bodine (2014) UNC, C
- 42 reps: Isaac Sopoaga (2004) Hawaii, NT
- 42 reps: Tank Tyler (2007) NC State, DT
- 42 reps: Harrison Phillips (2018) Stanford, DT
- 41 reps: David Molk (2012) Michigan, C
- 41 reps: Terna Nande (2006) Miami (OH), LB
- 41 reps: Igor Olshansky (2004) Oregon, DE
- 41 reps: Vita Vea (2018) Washington, DT