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.”