NFL Combine Bench Press Record
The bench press is one of the main measurements amongst the drills for prospects in the NFL Combine to show off a football player’s strength. Who holds the NFL Combine bench press record for most reps at 225 pounds? Here is a look at the bench press results and the record for most reps in NFL Scouting Combine history.
NFL Combine Record for the Bench Press
The all-time NFL Combine bench press record holder is defensive tackle Justin Ernest from Eastern Kentucky University. He put up an incredible 51 reps at 225 pounds in 1999. However, the official record belongs to Stephen Paea with 49 reps. This is due to the fact that Ernest went undrafted and never played a game in the NFL.
Paea, a defensive tackle from Oregon State, bench-pressed 49 reps at the 2011 NFL Combine. He showed an incredible feat of strength and endurance. It made him one of the strongest players in combine history. Then, he went on to play seven seasons in the NFL for four different teams. The Chicago Bears drafted him in 2011.
NFL Combine Bench Press Rules
The NFL combine bench press is a unique challenge that prospects go through to boost their chances of getting drafted. The goal is to bench press a 225-pound barbell as many times as possible with full, consecutive reps.
To ensure that everyone performs the bench press in the same way, there are specific rules that must be followed. These include having a neutral grip on the bar, touching the bar to the chest, and locking the elbows at the top of the lift. Each player gets three attempts, and the best score is recorded.
The top performers in terms of reps are typically offensive and defensive linemen. There have been some surprising records set by players in other positions.
Top 5 Bench Press Reps in Combine History
Who are some of the other strongest players in NFL Scouting Combine history? Here’s a look at the top 5 best bench press performances at the combine. Only 19 players have benched 40 or more reps, with most of them being offensive or defensive linemen.
Justin Ernest – 51 Reps
Justin Ernest set the NFL combine bench press record after he completed 51 reps in 1999 as a defensive tackle from Eastern Kentucky University. He went undrafted and never played an NFL game despite his impressive performance at the 1999 NFL Combine. Ernest was on the Saints’ practice squad for one season.
Stephen Paea – 49 Reps
Stephen Paea bench pressed 49 reps in 2011, which is considered the official combine record by the NFL. He played seven seasons for the Bears, Redskins, Browns, and Cowboys after being picked in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Mike Kudla, Leif Larsen, Mitch Petrus – 45 Reps
The group of Mike Kudla, Leif Larsen, and Mitch Petrus bench pressed 45 reps. Kudla was the lightest weighing in at 265 lbs. Larsen was a defensive tackle from the University of Texas and Petrus was a guard who played three NFL seasons for the Giants, Patriots, and Titans.
NFL Scouting Combine History for Bench Press by Position
The bench press is not only about body strength but also endurance. You have to be able to withstand a serious amount of successive reps. The number of reps for each position varies. Offensive and defensive linemen are at the top of the list.
Here’s some information on the bench press reps at the NFL Combine based on position as we look at the strongest players throughout the years.
For quarterbacks, Rhett Bomar was able to lift 225 pounds a record 25 times. He was an NFL backup for a few years but never played in a game. Brady Quinn managed 24 reps back in 2007.
For the running back position, Jerick McKinnon showed off his muscle strength with 32 reps back in 2014. He was on the Kansas City Chiefs 2022 Super Bowl Championship team.
Tommy Bohanon, a fullback, did 36 reps in 2013. Alex Barnes showed off his upper body strength as he repped the weight 34 times in 2019 but he didn’t make an NFL roster.
Some notable linebackers at the top of strength and conditioning at the combine were Cornelius Washington and Ronnell Lewis who each reached 36 reps.
Vic Beasley and Donald Butler both were able to put up 35 reps. Beasley was picked in the first round by the Atlanta Falcons at number eight.
A few of the best offensive linemen numbers for the 225 lbs bench press belong to Mitch Petrus (45), Netane Muti (44), and Russell Bodine (42).
The top of the charts goes to the defensive line. We mentioned Stephen Paea, who owns the official record, but we can’t forget others like Dontari Poe (44 reps) and Jeff Owens (44 reps).
NFL Combine Bench Press Record FAQs
Otito Ogbonnia, a defensive tackle from UCLA, bench-pressed 225 pounds 29 times.
Stephen Paea holds the official NFL record, but Justin Ernest had an incredible feat of 51 reps back in 1999. He never played in the NFL but was on the practice squad for the New Orleans Saints.
The weight of the bench press at the NFL combine is 225 pounds for all players.