While the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine officially kicked off on Tuesday, the first group of players won't actually see the football field for drills and other workouts until Friday. But the first arrivals -- which included offensive linemen and running backs -- did take to the weight room for the bench press on Thursday. Special teams players, who also arrived with the first group, did not take part in the drill.
Running back is a position where raw strength can matter quite a bit for power backs and when it comes to blocking and leverage. Rookie running backs can usually pick up a running game quickly, but the usual biggest issue for a running back hoping to see the field early is whether or not he can hold his own in pass protection.
The bench press isn't the be-all, end-all for this category, but it certainly helps. This year, a handful of players hit 20 reps of 225 pounds, with two fullbacks -- Dan Vitale of Northwestern and Andy Janovich of Nebraska -- hitting 30 reps apiece.
Among running backs, Keith Marshall of Georgia led the way with 25 reps. Ezekiel Elliott, considered one of the top backs in this year's draft, did not participate in the bench press.
Derrick Henry of Alabama, widely considered the next-best behind Elliott, put up a respectable 22 reps.
|Name||School||Height||Weight||Bench Press (reps at 225 lbs)|
|Tra Carson||Texas A&M||5'11||227||19|
|Marshaun Coprich||Illinois State||5'8||207||17|
|Kenneth Dixon||Louisiana Tech||5'10||215||18|
|Ezekiel Elliott||Ohio State||6'0||225|
|Tyler Ervin||San Jose State||5'10||192||17|
|Glenn Gronkowski||Kansas State||6'2||239||17|
|Tre Madden||Southern Cal||6'0||223||24|
|CJ Prosise||Notre Dame||6'0||220|
|Wendell Smallwood||West Virginia||5'10||208||14|
|Shad Thornton||North Carolina State||6'0||217||12|
|Soma Vainuku||Southern Cal||5'11||246||26|
|DeAndre Washington||Texas Tech||5'8||204||24|
|Brandon Wilds||South Carolina||6'1||220||21|