T Nation

NFL Draft Bench and Squat!?!?!

I was looking through the NFL Draft results, and looked at about 50 players’ profiles. I was shocked at the inconsistency of lifts. Nearly 60% of the players had benches and squats within about 7-10% of each other. And a number of players had benches higher than their squats! Here is the link

http://www.nfl.com/draft/drafttracker/round/round1

What do you attribute this to? Too much emphasis on the bench press in college football programs? Inflated bench numbers? Or were they simply wearing some double denim shirts?

Different training methods by different coaches, but most of them don’t teach pauses or anything in their lifts.

Frankly, a lot of those numbers seem piss-poor for guys that weigh 200+, let alone athletes.

Then again, who gives a shit how much you bench if you kick ass on the field?

I think alot of their #'s are inflated, not just the bench. Like Calvin Johnson’s 45 inch vert. I know he’s a hell of an athlete, but he ain’t hitting his head against a regulation rim…

There are many, many reasons for this:

1)The strength coach doesn’t believe in squatting. I was in a D-I collegiate S&C program like that my freshman year.
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2)There is a much greater emphasis put on unilateral movements for all positions except OL and DL. Most players will not spend a lot of time in a parallel-footed position. (I actually tend to agree with this philosophy the more I train FOR FOOTBALL.) Note: the previous statement is not, in any way, intended to ignite a functional training debate. Thank you.

3)The infinite variety of multi-jointed, closed-chain lower-body exercises being employed vs. the fairly minimal amount of variety in “big” upper-body lifts being performed.

4)The (stupid) premium being placed on the 225lb. rep test.

5)The workload on the legs being so high almost year round that it leaves little time for max effort squatting amidst the conditioning, speed work, agility work, plyometrics, or practices themselves.

6)Bench being the “sexy” lift to most athletes (sadly) and therefore the most falsely inflated.

I played college football for a year and numbers ARE NOT exaggerated. I guarantee you that there is not a single bigtime D1 program that exagerates their numbers. Calvin Johnson is a freak of nature. His vertical number is legit.

I think it’s due to lack of emphasis on the squat by the kids and their school/team training programs as early as Jr High and High School.

My son is a very small (5’4", 125) sophomore and he squats more (1RM=275) than most of his football team, including linemen who weigh well in excess of 2x his BW. But, I taught him how to squat early, and he digs it.

[quote]T Affliction G wrote:

5)The workload on the legs being so high almost year round that it leaves little time for max effort squatting amidst the conditioning, speed work, agility work, plyometrics, or practices themselves.
…[/quote]

Good post. I think this one is key.

Strong kids.

nfl measures with a 2 hand reach on their vertical tests. So substract 2-2.5 inches to their verticals. Johnson’s true vertical is probably 42-43 inches, thats believable.

They show numbers for both combine and for campus. When using numbers always use combine. Those numbers are generally created all at the same time and not used to push the athletes school.

You can not compare campus numbers, they use the best numbers from 4 years of school. Which means if the athlete came in benching 400, but went down to 355, because he concentrated on squats for 4 years they will still say he benches 400, jumps 45 inches and squats 500.

Highschools and colleges also boost numbers to push their athlete. Although I’ve seen more outrageous changes, they generally add up to 2 inches to height, about 3-5 on vertical jump, 25-50 on bench. Combine is a totally different ball game. With 10 million dollars in guarenteed money you can’t afford an exagerrated stat. Thats why some athletes won’t do some events they know their not good at.

If I was getting tested on one lift(bench press) when it really mattered I think I’d care a whole lot more about that than squatting.

I think Jim Wendler says it best,

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/letter_of_resignation.htm

Yes all college football players lifts are legit, no lifts are inflated, for instance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5xspeGosIA

nice spotting here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38siKVr0qH0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v30IuKafkY

Now for the truth:
Avg. Squat for Nebraska linemen: 485
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b3QJSCQuYg&mode=related&search=

This is one of the most respected S and C programs there is, so are you telling me these recievers and DBs in the draft are outsquatting these studs, hell no.

One thing I will give you is that the linemen today are taller which hurts their squat and Im in no way saying they are not strong as hell, but there are not to many players today that could hit a USAPL depth standard squat of 550, very few. My opinion, I may be wrong.

Most linemen aren’t built to be big squatters and benchers these days, but I would like to see what some of those guys can pull. This is still one of my favorite videos of all time:

[quote]WhiteFlash wrote:
I think alot of their #'s are inflated, not just the bench. Like Calvin Johnson’s 45 inch vert. I know he’s a hell of an athlete, but he ain’t hitting his head against a regulation rim…[/quote]

Uhh…you sure about that?

[quote]jumper wrote:
Yes all college football players lifts are legit, no lifts are inflated, for instance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5xspeGosIA

nice spotting here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38siKVr0qH0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v30IuKafkY

Now for the truth:
Avg. Squat for Nebraska linemen: 485
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b3QJSCQuYg&mode=related&search=

This is one of the most respected S and C programs there is, so are you telling me these recievers and DBs in the draft are outsquatting these studs, hell no.

One thing I will give you is that the linemen today are taller which hurts their squat and Im in no way saying they are not strong as hell, but there are not to many players today that could hit a USAPL depth standard squat of 550, very few. My opinion, I may be wrong.
[/quote]

For starters there are many ways to skin a cat especially in the realm of college strength programs. Okie State probably had a LEGIT strength coach during his time as a poke. I have little doubt there are frauds who lead a certain percentage of college gyms across the nation. You brought up Nebraska which happens to be my fav team.

Boyd Epley is a fraud in the sense that he was not the brainchild behind Husker Power when it was successful before circa 2000. After that he got lazy and basically let the players lift unsupervised. The video you watched with the 485lb average squat was made in 2002 a lot has changed in the strength game since then and I think there are SOME legit big squats that are hit in gyms.

That being said I saw a video of Michael Bush squatting the other day ahd it was pure shit same goes for the squat instruction video shown at Clemson’s website. IMO it boils down to who your strength coach is and what did he/she do to get their job.

[quote]Tuggles wrote:
jumper wrote:
Yes all college football players lifts are legit, no lifts are inflated, for instance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5xspeGosIA

nice spotting here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38siKVr0qH0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v30IuKafkY

Now for the truth:
Avg. Squat for Nebraska linemen: 485
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b3QJSCQuYg&mode=related&search=

This is one of the most respected S and C programs there is, so are you telling me these recievers and DBs in the draft are outsquatting these studs, hell no.

One thing I will give you is that the linemen today are taller which hurts their squat and Im in no way saying they are not strong as hell, but there are not to many players today that could hit a USAPL depth standard squat of 550, very few. My opinion, I may be wrong.

For starters there are many ways to skin a cat especially in the realm of college strength programs. Okie State probably had a LEGIT strength coach during his time as a poke. I have little doubt there are frauds who lead a certain percentage of college gyms across the nation. You brought up Nebraska which happens to be my fav team.

Boyd Epley is a fraud in the sense that he was not the brainchild behind Husker Power when it was successful before circa 2000. After that he got lazy and basically let the players lift unsupervised. The video you watched with the 485lb average squat was made in 2002 a lot has changed in the strength game since then and I think there are SOME legit big squats that are hit in gyms.

That being said I saw a video of Michael Bush squatting the other day ahd it was pure shit same goes for the squat instruction video shown at Clemson’s website. IMO it boils down to who your strength coach is and what did he/she do to get their job.

[/quote]

I agree with you. I may not have gotten my point across that well. There are some legit big time squatters and a lot does depend on the coach, but just like Jim Wendler says there is a lot of inflation out there. I think it is sad that not just in football a true raw 500-600 pound squat gets no merit because of all the B.S.

Below parallel squats these days are as rare as $2 bills. Here is the deal, next year at the combine have three USAPL type judges to judge squats as an event and tell me if the numbers wouldn’t be lower than they are now, the same would be true for the bench, but on the other hand we would also get to see some huge lifts.

[quote]LUEshi wrote:

Then again, who gives a shit how much you bench if you kick ass on the field? [/quote]

Exactly. You don’t see players bench pressing or squatting on the sidelines, why should it matter? It’s all about what they can do in the game.

Jumper,

Good posts. As I was reading this thread I was thinking of the Wendler “resignation letter” - unfortunately it is so true. No doubt there are some D1 programs that don’t inflate but for anyone to say that none of the top D1 programs inflate is pollyannish.

Where did you hear that the combine is going to test the squat next year with “USAPL type judges”? I think that would be great the 225 lb bench test is silly.

To the poster that pointed out lifts do not matter it is what you do on the field:

You are correct in terms of current ability. However there are athletes that are super strong, agile, mobile, and hostile that have not received the best coaching (I know this is true at the D2 level, maybe or maybe not at mid to lower tier D1 schools). Strength tests couple with agility/mbility tests can help find these diamonds in the rough. Also, for the guys that perform on the field, if their strength is below par they can definitely improve their play with greater strength - especially squats and cleans.