NFL Combine: Who to Watch for on Day 2

Justin Hussong@@HeatChecksHussContributor IIIFebruary 22, 2013

BRADENTON, FL - JANUARY 23:  Linebacker Manti Te'o of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish works out at IMG Academy on January 23, 2013 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Friday at the NFL combine is the first day where we get to see any glimpses of athletic ability. It is the day where many players are interviewed and tight ends as well as offensive linemen get to hit the bench press.

Players, teams and fans alike are all clamoring to see what kind of performances this year's class can put up. On one of the slower days of the combine, here are a few things worth watching unfold.


Are Manti Te'o's Head and Personal Life in Order?

Following the whole "catfish" ordeal that Te'o went through with his imaginary girlfriend, many questions are sure to be thrown at him during interviews.

Despite his lackluster performance in the National Championship versus Alabama, Te'o must prove a lot before he even hits the field at Indy for any athletic drills.

Teams want to know if everything is in order, and although Manti has handled the situation about as well as one could have ever dealt with it, it is still an issue that needs to be addressed. NFL execs will not want to risk a first-round pick on someone with such a big question mark on his shoulders.

How he answers questions this weekend will be as crucial as his 40-yard dash time and his bench press repetitions. His media session should trump anything the combine has ever seen as it is rare that a player arrives at the combine with such controversy.


Will Jesse Williams Break the Bench Press Record?

Justin Ernest's all-time record of 51 reps at 225 pounds at the NFL Combine in 1999 could stand to fall this weekend.

Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams is coming for him, as he supposedly can bench up to 600 pounds and is looking to put up 55 to 60 reps. While a nice record like that would be something for Williams to put on his resume, he has other work to do to solidify himself as a first-round pick.

Teams know how strong this kid is, but he could really separate himself from the competition by breaking the bench press record. Stephen Paea got close in 2011 with 45 reps, but if Williams can eclipse the 51 it would truly be a sight to see.


How Will Matt Barkley Justify Not Throwing?

Matt Barkley's press conference is sure to see many questions regarding his injured shoulder. His progress in his recovery is something teams will heavily focus on regarding the potential high first-rounder.

USC's senior quarterback has a lot of uncertainties regarding his health, but more than anything he will also see questions concerning his arm when healthy. He will see questions about his sub-par senior season and USC's big disappointment last year.

How he is able to alleviate any concerns regarding his arm or his past season will be interesting since he is not able to throw at the combine and deter any of his critics. Barkley fell from the undoubted first overall pick to an injured borderline first-rounder. His ability to answer tough questions with his words instead of his arm will be worth watching.


In a slower day on the field at the combine, much attention will be surrounding the player interviews. This year features many potential high picks with big questions to answer to convince teams that they are worthy of the hype they received.