TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State offensive lineman Christian Westerman isn't particularly proud of the 34 bench press reps he posted at the 2016 NFL Combine, even though he led all participants at the event. If it wasn't for cramps, he believes he could've pushed the mark up over 40.
But he was happy enough with the number to leave it and not attempt to push it even higher at the ASU Pro Day on Friday. Instead, he let his teammate Vi Teofilo steal the show with 43 reps.
"Vi and I have been competing since we got here," Westerman said. "One day I'll kill the squat, one day he'll kill the bench and then one day I'll kill the power clean. It's just back and forth between me and him. We're both competitors and we've made each other a lot better."
Westerman was considered a possibility to break, or at least challenge, the NFL Combine record of 51 reps set by defensive tackle Justin Ernest. On Friday, he said his average mark is in the "mid-40's," but he didn't see much point in trying to reach that mark at his pro day.
"I'll take what I did there [at the Combine]," Westerman said. "Honestly, if I put a couple more reps up, I don’t think that would help me too much in the process when there’s a chance of me getting injured or something like that happening ... I had the highest bench press reps at the Combine, which is a pretty good statistic, so I think it went well."
Teofilo, a three-year starter at right guard for ASU opposite Westerman at left guard, wasn't invited to the NFL Combine, so Friday was his first chance to show off strength in front of scouts. With at least 20 teams represented, the 43 reps he managed would've blown away all Combine competition and are more than any player has posted at the event since Dontari Poe recorded 44 in 2012 before getting picked in the first round by the Kansas City Chiefs.
But like Westerman, he credits his teammate for pushing his marks in the weight room to higher limits.
"I know if it wasn't for [Westerman], I wouldn't be as good as I am today, or as successful as I am today," said Teofilo. "I think it has a lot to do with him because we go back and forth on everything."
While Poe has developed into a two-time Pro Bowler since dominating in the bench press, players like Ernest or Stephen Paea (49 reps in 2011) haven't panned out as stars after etching their names in the history books.
"Some of these tests don't tell you how good you are," Teofilo said. "But strength on the [interior offensive line] is big time. You're not dealing with 260-pound dudes. You're dealing with 320- and 330-pound dudes."
Westerman is the No. 4 guard in the 2016 NFL Draft, according to NFL Network's Mike Mayock, and landed in the fourth round of a February mock draft by NFL.com's Chad Reuter. Teofilo, on the other hand, has the task of convincing teams he's worth a draft pick despite not getting invited to the NFL Combine. His big day on Friday certainly helped his cause.