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Former Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey is a first-round NFL Draft prospect due to his quickness and explosiveness.
During last week’s NFL Combine, McCaffrey proved himself, putting up some serious numbers throughout the day. For example, McCaffrey’s 40-yard dash was 4.48 seconds, his vertical was 37.5 inches, his broad jump was just over 10 feet, and his 3-cone drill was 6.57 seconds, the second-fastest by a running back at the Combine since 2003. In fact, McCaffrey ranked top amongst running backs in nearly all of the categories except one, which has everyone talking.
The 5-foot-11, 202-pounder only put up 10 reps of 225 pounds during the bench press test, the second-lowest of all the running backs who participated. Which begs the question, does the Combine’s bench test even matter?
“It’s the most worthless test of skill that they have at the Combine. And in an organization like the NFL they’re going to come back with ‘Eh, what does the kid know?’ But I know a lot about strength and fitness, and upper body reps for a segregated weight for max is a horrible test for the Combine athlete. I love the Agility test, I love the Sprint tests, Vertical Jump and all that stuff is really fun to watch. But, step your game up with the strength assessment, NFL.”
This is what WWE Superstar John Cena had to say in a Sports Illustrated video about the Combine’s use of the bench press test. It seems as if Cena is not the only one who agrees, so does McCaffrey’s coach.
“I don’t care about how much guys can bench, squat, or power clean,” said Stanford’s strength and conditioning coach, Shannon Turley, in an interview with Bleacher Report in 2013. “It has nothing to do with playing football. Football is blocking and tackling. It’s creating contact, avoiding contact and gaining separation if you are a skill guy on the perimeter. That’s football.”
What do you think? Does the Combine’s bench press test even matter?