Oregon State’s Paea breaks Combine bench press record

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Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea is unable to run or perform on-field drills due to arthroscopic knee surgery underwent in January.  So he had one, solitary focus entering the 2011 Scouting Combine:

Bench press 225 pounds as many times as possible.

Paea more than aced the test, breaking the Combine record with 49 reps of 225. The previous mark was shared by current Giants guard Mitch Petrus, and NFL washouts Leif Larsen and Mike Kudla.

Unlike Larsen and Kudla — who had 45 reps of 225 — Paea can play. He twice won the Morris Trophy as the Pac-10’s top defensive lineman, piling up 29.5 career tackles for loss and 14 sacks despite facing constant double teams.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock is particularly high on Paea, projecting him as a potential late first-round pick even despite the knee surgery.

Said Mayock of Paea, “His strength in the weight room translates to the football field.”

25 responses to “Oregon State’s Paea breaks Combine bench press record

  1. “Unlike Larsen and Kudla — who had 45 reps of 225 — Paea can play.”

    “[Prospect name] can play, he won’t be a bust.” – Never heard that one before.

  2. “He twice won the Morris Trophy as the Pac-10′s top defensive lineman, piling up 29.5 career tackles for loss and 14 sacks despite facing constant double teams.”

    “His strength in the weight room translates to the football field.”

    This guy will be the steal of the draft.

    Mark it.

  3. Again, benching 225 for reps does not show nearly as much a player’s strength as it does his weight room work ethic… and with Paea’s unprecendented mark… I would have to say he works extremely hard in the weight room and he is extremely strong. That is truly an amazing number.

    An interesting note on Larsen. From Norway, he looked very similar to actor Dolph Lundgren. He was nicknamed “Drago”. He came to UTEP as a shot putter, he was a very good athlete, measuring in at 6’5 309 and running a 5.0 40 along with his 45 reps (he actually had 55 reps but had 10 taken away for not going up far enough). Anyway, after the NFL, Larsen took his talents (?) to boxing where for a little while he was fairly successful fighing a bunch of tomato cans.

  4. Mike Ruth of BC won the Outland trophy – busted up the bench press at the combine, and then was a total bust in the NFL. Stubby little arms. He got away with it in college, but couldn’t get past blockers in the NFL.

    Working hard in the weight room doesn’t translate to the football field. They’re called workout warriors for a reason.

  5. Weight lifting strength is only one aspect of judging a prospect. Sounds like he can play well at the college level. No mention of his intelligence. The ability to understand game situations is undervalued by most.

  6. “This guy will be the steal of the draft.

    Mark it.”

    And if he’s not, no one will ever remember your “bold” statement.

    Mark it.

  7. I wonder what the record is for any player in the league. Reggie White reportedly did 50 once then basically just stopped because he didn’t want to show off.

  8. luckynumberlucas says: Feb 27, 2011 4:04 PM

    Wow.

    49 that is insane.

    I am able to do 10 or maybe 12
    ***********************************************
    It’s 225 lbs not 22.5 lbs

  9. It all depends on that knee…. Size and strength are necessary, but what separates NFL players from college players is feet. If that knee can’t hold up or slows him down, he will go down as a footnote in combine lore as Larson and Kudla did.

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