David Molk aiming to break Combine bench press record


Michigan’s David Molk is still recovering from a foot injury that will prevent him from going through most of the workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine. But he plans to make the most of the one thing he can do.

Molk, who won the Rimington Trophy as college football’s best center, told the Detroit Free Press that he thinks he can break the bench press record at the Combine. Molk said he doesn’t emphasize high-repetition training in his workouts, but he recently did 39 reps of 225 pounds at the end of a strenuous workout in which he had already done 10 sets on the bench, topping out at 495 pounds.

“I was totally exhausted,” Molk said. “I’ve never done it fresh, but I think after doing that many sets of bench prior to testing it and still getting 39, I’ll be right there.”

A Combine bench press record would be nice, but it’s Molk’s performance on the field as a two-time All-Big Ten center that really has teams taking notice. The reality is that the difference between a guy who can “only” bench press 225 pounds 30 times and a guy who can bench press 225 pounds 50 times doesn’t mean a lot on the football field.

NFL scouts know that, which is why, when Justin Ernest of Eastern Kentucky set a Combine bench press record with 51 reps in 1999, he wasn’t drafted. And Ernest’s achievement has been forgotten to such an extent that when Oregon State’s Stephen Paea hit 49 reps last year, it was widely reported as an all-time record.

So if Molk breaks the bench press record, that would be swell. But it probably won’t do much to affect his draft stock.

13 responses to “David Molk aiming to break Combine bench press record

  1. The bench press measures commitment in the gym more accurately than anything else. It has very little to do with overall strength. I know numerous guys that can’t bench 225 more than 20X but have phenomenal bench maxes. Last year at only 195 lbs, I hit 225 for 27 reps yet I’ve never been able to do more than 365 on the bench.

    As an NFL team, a guy having good bench numbers is more reflective on that player’s work ethic (unless his bench numbers are ridiculously low). Some guys have ridiculous natural strength and can bench huge numbers despite not working out very much. But reps of 225 cannot be faked. it takes a long time to get rep numbers up.

  2. Go for it, Molk. Breaking the bench press record for number of reps @ 225 lbs. may not noticeably affect your draft stock, but it’d still be impressive.

    You won the Rimington Trophy as college football’s best center. That’s even more impressive.

  3. If he is shorter than 6 ft tall and breaks the bench press mark the Eagles will draft him.They love combine warriors who are short.

  4. Actually, I think it would be a big deal. When you are already real good in other aspects and you add unusual strength to your skill set (have you seen the size of nose tackles these days), I think it moves him up a tad.

  5. @brasho,

    I bet you’ve been waiting years for a story like this to tell us how much you BP. I’ve found that tribal tats and Ed Hardy workout gear increase gains the fastest and are a true test of strength; at least that’s what the Italian guys in the gym tell me. I tried working out with hair gel in too but it was burning my eyes.

  6. Year after year the NFL Combine dramatizes strength and speed of potential draftees. The preseason and regular season then remind everyone that without intelligence and discipline a football player’s strength and speed mean nothing.

  7. @Brasho. I don’t unddrstand the thumbd down on your comment. What it shows is e players commitment and dedication to lifting. Does it say if he can play football? Of course not, but its a good indicator of what kind of player you are getting. Doesn’t work hard in the weightroom, won’t study hard in the filmroom. Filmroom will translate to subpar performance on the field. Not saying hard work guarantees success, but without it you have NO chamce

  8. There’s a world of difference between weight room strength and on-field strength. All other things being equal, I’ll take the guy who can bench 225 pounds 35 times over the guy who can do it 20. But if the first guy can’t translate it into great play, who cares? Another reason I find the combine to be extraordinarily overrated.

    Look at the top 10 bench press reps over the past 6 years: Stephen Paea, Mitch Petrus, Jeff Owens, Tank Tyler, Justin Blalock, Manuel Ramirez, Linval Joseph, Louis Vazquez, Marvin Austin, Russell Okung. Not many superstars there.

  9. He’ll have some good competition from teammate Mike Martin. Both are eyeing the record and legitimate prospects unlike others mentioned above who were workout gimmicks.

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