Offensive linemen and tight ends have started the bench press workout at the combine and here are some results that might impress a few folks and here are some of the big names:
Luke Stocker, Tight End, Tennessee - 27 reps, tied for #1 with Charlie Gantt for tops at the tight end position. Stocker draws comparisons to Jason Witten because they went to the same college, but Stocker is a pretty impressive specimen in his own right. If the Patriots weren't stocked (hah!) at tight end, I would be happy with him as a prospect due to his 6'5, 258 lbs frame.
Lance Kendricks, Tight End, Wisconsin - 25 reps, tied for #3 with Lee Smith at the tight end position. Kendricks is a lot smaller than Stocker, standing around 6'3, 243 lbs, but he could find himself in an Aaron Hernandez type role with a different team.
D.J. Williams, Tight End, Arkansas - 20 reps, #9 for the tight end position. Williams is too small to be an in-line blocker and his lack of strength definitely shows why he'll be asked to flex out like Aaron Hernandez. He'll find a team, but he's now the 4th tight end on the board (behind Kyle Rudolph, Stocker, and Kendricks in that order).
Check out the offensive linemen after the jump!
Ryan Bartholomew, Center, Syracuse - 34 reps, which makes him the current #1. Bartholomew is a late round pick, but any top performances at the combine can only help his draft stock.
Marcus Cannon, Guard, Texas Christian University - 33 reps, tied for #2 overall. Cannon is a monster at 6'5, 358 lbs and he has some weight concerns, but he definitely puts his weight to good use. He's a second round pick and I believe that over this weekend he's going to solidify his top 5 guard status in the draft (with Mike Pouncey, Rodney Hudson, and Danny Watkins).
Marcus Gilbert, Tackle, Florida - 30 reps, tied for #6 overall. Gilbert is linked to the Patriots because he attends Florida, but he is a solid mid-round talent. His bench press score shows he's as strong as the rest of the top tackle talent, which means that he just needs to improve on his technique (and Dante Scarneccia is great at that).
Stefen Wisniewski, Center, Penn State - 30 reps, tied for #6 overall. Well, the main knock against Wisniewski was his lack of core strength to handle the top defensive tackles and nose tackles on a week to week basis. This definitely helped answer that question. Definitely showed that he is worth an end-of-the-first-round pick.
Tyron Smith, Tackle, University of Southern California - 29 reps, tied for #9 overall. Smith has added weight and strength to his small college frame and he's keeping up with the other tackle prospects. There's nothing more to say, other than he needs to perform well in the drills to show he can play left tackle.
Gabe Carimi, Tackle, Wisconsin - 29 reps, tied for #9 overall. Carimi has declared himself the #1 tackle in the draft and his swagger and charisma is something that the Patriots' offensive line could use. I'm a fan of Carimi and he should continue to impress this weekend.
Danny Watkins, Guard, Baylor - 29 reps, tied for #9 overall. Watkins is old (he's 26, and will turn 27 during his rookie season), which scares some teams, but as Watkins said, he doesn't "have arthritis." He's keep up with the young 'ns and I'm assuming he'll continue to thrive as long as they stay off his lawn.
Anthony Castonzo, Tackle, Boston College - 28 reps, tied for #14 overall. Despite the rank difference, one bench press isn't that big of a deal when you're dealing with players who are 6'6+ because long arms means longer distance to raise the weights, which means lower bench press numbers. Castonzo is keeping pace with the Carimi and Smith group and I believe that they'll be the top three tackles off the board in the draft.
Those are the highlights. I'm trying to find the low-lights and I'll post them when I find them! Also, keep in mind that I'm only relaying information on the top prospects, so I don't think any of these listed players are workout warriors (except possibly Bartholomew). Definitely keep an eye out for them.