South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney put up 21 reps at 225 pounds on the bench at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Former Notre Dame QB, Brady Quinn, did 24.
Intensity and work ethic are the things that scouts are questioning with Clowney. The bench is interesting to me because even though it is a test of upper body strength, it tests your person, your constitution, your resolve as well.
And if you think I'm being melodramatic, imagine: you have a bunch of guys sitting around watching you perform the one, test of strength that has dominated football weight rooms for decades. Although the game is played from the ground up, you use your hands to control your opponent, your upper body to blunt your opponent and though you might be a road-grader from the waist down, players will get off you if you're not strong.
Players know this. There is a direct correlation, accurate or not, between the baddest man in the room and the amount of strength he displays on the bench.
You can watch a guy bench and based on his last three or four reps I'll tell you if the guy thinks he has something to prove or not. Clowney benched like a guy that doesn't think he has anything to prove. And he's probably right...
He ran a 4.47 and a 4.48 (unofficially) in the 40!
That pretty much secures Clowney the #1 overall draft position in the 2014 NFL Draft. Despite an up and down performance in 2013, Clowney has a body of work on film that makes NFL scouts salivate. Back up the film by being 6-5, 266 pounds, running a 4.47 and posting a 37.5" vertical and the crown goes to Clowney…King of all Freaks and future #1 pick overall.