Oregon State DT Stephen Paea set an NFL Scouting Combine record by bench pressing 225 pounds a ridiculous 49 times.
“I’ve been blessed the last couple months to prepare for this event,” Paea said about 45 minutes after the lift. He later added: “I think I could go back and do another one.”
Most sources project Paea as a first- or second-round talent – Mocking The Draft ranks him the 14th-best prospect in the draft, but most mock drafts have him somewhat lower than that. Last week, SB Nation Pittsburgh’s Pete Wilmoth named Paea a potential first-round pick for the Steelers, who need to get younger and deeper on their defensive line.
The bench press record will surely help Paea’s draft stock, although it’s worth pointing out here that UTEP’s Leif Larsen, who previously set the record at 45 repetitions, had only a brief NFL career, and so did Ohio State’s Mike Kudla, who tied the record in 2006. Paea’s ridiculous performance is cool, but it isn’t a guarantee of success.