Southern Cal defensive lineman Leonard Williams might skip bench press testing at the NFL Scouting Combine due to shoulder problems. Potentially the No. 1 pick of the draft, the former Trojans star is postponing the decision while he continues preparing for the annual event at the EXOS training facility in Phoenix.
"That's one of the things I have been contemplating whether I am doing or not at the combine," Williams told Yahoo Sports' Shutdown Corner. "I've had labrum tears in both of my shoulders, and I have not been able to do as much upper-body (work) as I have wanted to. But since (I) have been here, (my bench-press weight) has been going up. Depending on how I feel at the end of training here I'll make a decision."
Williams' shoulders gave him trouble throughout his junior season at USC last year, but he still piled up 80 tackles and seven sacks while playing multiple positions along the Trojans' defensive front.
He is potentially the No. 1 pick of the draft. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah regards the versatile 300-pound underclassman as the top overall prospect available, but with the quarterback-needy Tampa Bay Buccaneers picking first, Jeremiah and other NFL Media analysts see FSU's Jameis Winston going No. 1 and Williams falling to either the Tennessee Titans at No. 2 or the Washington Redskins at No. 5.
It's not uncommon for prospects, particularly the very best among them, to participate in the combine on a limited basis. Much the opposite of Williams, Texas A&M offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi will perform the bench press only due to ongoing rehabilitation from a torn knee ligament.
The combine begins Feb. 17.