D-linemen bring power, intensity to bench press

INDIANAPOLIS — The defensive linemen might have just completed the most entertaining two hours of bench pressing at the NFL Scouting Combine. Sunday’s bench-a-thon was pretty amped as the prospects became competitive.

The high man for the day was Georgia DT Jeff Owens, who worked the rest of the prospects into a frenzy as he did 44 repetitions. Mammoth East Carolina DT Linval Joseph was next with 39 reps, followed by Georgia DT Geno Atkins and UCLA DT Brian Price with 34 each.

As much as the prospects were cheering for each other, the second session was energized when Jets coach Rex Ryan and Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan briefly got into the action. The latter Ryan, with his long gray locks, looks very much like The Dude these days. I’m a Ryan, you’re a Ryan.

The highest-rated prospects represented well Sunday. Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh put up 32 reps, doing nothing to hurt his stock and besting Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy (26). Other notables included Ohio State DE Thaddeus Gibson (32), Michigan DE/OLB Brandon Graham (31) and USC DE Everson Griffen (32).

Overall, 50 of the 66 linemen lifted, and 13 players did 30 reps or more.

Stanford DE Erik Lorig strained his right pectoral during his lift and had to stop. Alabama NT Terrence Cody and George Tech DE Derrick Morgan were among those who didn’t lift.

– Frank Tadych

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