Day 2 of the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine was headlined by the bench press for offensive linemen and tight ends.
The bench press tests a player's upper-body strength, explosiveness and endurance—all important attributes for teams looking to scoop up that road-grading guard or do-it-all tight end. As with any combine test, there were prospects that did themselves a favor with their performance and those that, well, will wish they'd had a better day.
The bench press isn't usually a make-or-break event, but it does offer some prospects the opportunity to showcase some strength that may be harder to observe on film. Here are the good, bad and ugly numbers from the offensive linemen and tight ends on the bench press.
Eric Herman, G, Ohio
Herman is the perfect example of a little-known prospect taking advantage of the spotlight to make a name for himself.
The 6'4", 320-pound guard showed off his strength with a combine-leading 36 reps.
Herman came into the combine as a late-round draft pick, but he certainly took a big step in getting teams to take a closer look at him. He started 51 games for the Bobcats and obviously has the strength to succeed at the next level. Herman was definitely a big winner on Day 3.
Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
For most scouts, it seems that Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz are 1A and 1B when it comes to ranking the tight ends in this year's class. If it comes down to the combine to determine who is better, Ertz took a slight lead over Eifert in this event.
Ertz showed good strength with 24 reps, which was two more than Eifert, who registered 22.
Overall, Ertz only came in behind Vance McDonald of Rice, who put up 31 reps—an impressive performance in his own right.
Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
Cooper showed why many believe him to be a no-brainer first-round prospect.
Despite weighing just 311 pounds, Cooper proved to be a beast by putting up 35 reps. He's expected to do well in other athletic tests throughout this event, so he's setting himself up to be one of the combine's biggest winners.
D.J. Fluker, T, Alabama
Fluker is a massive right tackle at 6'5", 339 pounds. Teams are looking at him to become an anchor right tackle that can pave the way in the run game.
Any team that puts much stock in bench press numbers had to be disappointed. Fluker only managed 21 reps on the bench press. Sure, long arms are a disadvantage, but long tackles like Eric Fisher and Luke Joekel had no problem hitting the upper 20s.
Drive blocking obviously has much more to do with leg strength, but it's still a smaller number than you'd expect from the massive Fluker.
Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
Warford is another massive lineman that you'd think would have done a little better than his 28 reps.
At 332 pounds, Warford is a big man and his arms are relatively short (33")—that's usually a recipe for big numbers in this event.
Instead, he found himself in the middle of the pack at 28.
Brian Winters, G, Kent State; Khaled Holmes, C, USC; D.C. Jefferson, TE, Rutgers
Winters, Holmes and Jefferson all failed to complete the exercise because they suffered a strained pectoral (h/t CBSSports).
You hate to see players sustain injuries like this because it's an opportunity for them to prove themselves. Their performance really doesn't say much about their strength but may give them the ominous red flag when it comes to their health.
The combine is definitely not an ideal time to suffer an injury.
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