2017 NFL Combine: Asiata wows with 35 reps as offensive linemen hit bench press

Offensive linemen showing off their strength in the bench press was the first athletic testing to be completed at the 2017 NFL combine. The results produced some early winners, including Utah Utes ’s Isaac Asiata , who led all of Thursday’s competitors with 35 repetitions of 225 pounds, narrowly beating out TCU’s Aviante Collins, Texas A&M’s Jermaine Eluemainor and Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp, who each managed to push up the bar successfully 34 times.

Needless to say, scouts generally take a “more is better” approach when it comes to the bench press, but they also recognize the factor that arm length plays in the exercise. Players with shorter arms have an inherent advantage over those being asked to push the weight further.

This fact just makes Asiata’s strength all the more impressive given that he has 33 3/4-inch arms, longer than Collins (33 3/8 inches), Eluemainor (33 1/4 inches) and Lamp (32 1/4 inches). 

Asiata strength isn’t just limited to the weight room. The defensive linemen in the Pac-12 honored him with the Morris Trophy as the best offensive lineman in the conference this season. The three-time All-Pac-12 pick was invited to the Senior Bowl (and fared well there) before a hamstring strain forced him to leave Mobile early. Asiata currently ranks sixth among NFLDraftScout.com’s guards and 96th overall, and is viewed as a third-round value.

Among other notable results for the interior linemen were:

  • C Ethan Pocic , LSU Tigers (26 reps, 33 1/8-inch arms)
  • C Pat Elflein , Ohio State Buckeyes (22 reps, 33 1/4-inch arms)
  • OG Dan Feeney , Indiana Hoosiers (26 reps, 33 3/8-inch arms)
  • OG Dion Dawkins , Temple Owls (26 reps, 35-inch arms)
  • OG Zach Banner , Southern Cal (22 reps, 34 7/8-inch arms)
  • OG Nico Siragusa , San Diego State Aztecs (28 reps, 33 1/2-inch arms)

The longer-armed tackles generally do not fare as well in the bench press, but scouts typically would like to see at least 20 repetitions from players at this position. The longer the arms, the less concerned scouts generally are with slightly lower numbers. Tackles with long arms who fare well in this test can significantly boost their stock.

Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk , a 6-foot-6, 310-pound tackle (who has 33 3/4-inch arms), posted a respectable 25 repetitions. Scouts will have to wait to see how well the other two tackles currently projected as possible first-round picks – Alabama’s Cam Robinson and Utah’s Garett Bolles – will fare in this test of strength and endurance, as both opted not to lift Thursday, citing injury.

Among other notable results among tackles was:

  • OT Taylor Moton , Western Michigan (23 reps, 34 1/8-inch arms)
  • OT Adam Bisnowaty , Pitt (23 reps, 33 7/8-inch arms)
  • OT Antonio Garcia , Troy Trojans (24 reps, 33 3/8-inch arms)
  • OT David Sharpe , Florida Gators (19 reps, 35 3/8-inch arms)
  • OT Chad Wheeler, Southern Cal (15 reps, 33 1/8-inch arms)
Show Comments Hide Comments
CBS Sports Store
NFL Cold Weather Gear
Our Latest Stories
    Bracket Games