2011 NFL Combine Results: Stephen Paea Wins the Bench Press
Stephen Paea Proves He Is A Workout Warrior, Is That Good For His Draft Ranking?
Many are the stories of the workout warrior who "wins" the Combine before failing to produce in the NFL.
Stephen Paea pressed 225 lbs. 49 times at the Combine, setting a new record for the event. He beat out Leif Larson, Mitch Petrus and Mike Kudla, who all were tied at the top with 45 reps.
Paea may have won the bench press, but lifting weights is absolutely no indication of how well a person will do on the football field. It proves Paea is big and strong, and that is about it.
According to Paea's bio, he didn't start playing football until he was 16 years old, playing rugby in the nation of Tonga prior to attending high school in the United States.
Paea is considered one of the top defensive tackle prospects, so being big and strong is a good thing. Technique at the position is what separates the men from the boys, and it is the evaluation of his technique that ultimately will determine where he goes in this year's draft.
Some mocks have Paea as high as No. 11, going to the Houston Texans; others have him hanging out until the second round. The different mocks are proof no one really knows anything at this point, but the Combine will make some things a little clearer.
That being said, lifting 225 lbs. 49 times doesn't make anything any clearer. If Paea ends up being a bust, it could be used as an example of why the bench press is a waste of time. Even if Paea is successful, the bench press challenge needs to go.
The Combine should be changing every year to become the best talent evaluator the NFL has instead of just an excuse to get all the athletes in one room. If you're going to bring these guys together, make sure you are getting the most out of their time.
For a complete look at the draft, check out our NFL Draft Hub.
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