South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney didn't wow anybody Sunday with his bench press at the NFL Scouting Combine, putting up just 21 reps at 225 pounds.
There were 14 defensive linemen at last year's combine who had at least 28 reps, and Georgia Southern's Jerick McKinnon led the running backs at this year's combine with 32. Heck, Miami punter Pat O'Donnell had 23 reps this year.
Clowney measured 6-foot-5 and 266 pounds, with an arm length of 34½ inches, at the combine weigh-in. Granted, big bench-press numbers are not the be-all, end-all for defensive ends, especially those who possess rare pass-rush skills, but the 21 still is a low number.
There were 36 defensive linemen at the combine who had as many or more bench reps than Clowney, while 13 had fewer. Potential first-round tackle Ra'Shede Hageman of Minnnesota was tied for third with 32, while Pitt tackle Aaron Donald was second with 35. Donald is a potential second-rounder. Boston College tackle Kaleb Ramsey had the most, with 36.
Defensive end Mario Williams, who went first to Houston in the 2006 draft, had 35 reps at the combine. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said Saturday that Clowney has "more upside than Mario Williams ever dreamed of" and that Clowney has the skill set and talent to be "the most dominant player in the league."
But Mayock also openly questioned Clowney's intensity level. Mayock said because there are questions about the possible answer, Clowney might not be the first non-quarterback selected in May. Mayock said that would happen "solely because of inconsistencies off the field and the work ethic."
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin