2011 NFL Combine: Stephen Paea Sets Bench Press Record

Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea set an NFL Combine record in the bench press as he pumped 225 pounds a whopping 49 times. NFL.com has a video archive for the Combine and you can watch Paea set the bench press record. It's a pretty entertaining video. The spotter recognizes early on that Paea has come to work ("We've got a live one!") and then as he gets up over 30 reps the rest of the defensive linemen start cheering for him. Although this record-breaking performance will only help his cause against other defensive linemen, it's a great show of camaraderie (with a bleeped out swear word at around 40 seconds thrown in for good measure).

That bench press record is certainly a thing to behold, but today's positional drills will be even more important. Paea is a guy who some have said they'd love to have in the second round if he fell. However, in looking over various mock drafts, it seems like Paea has worked his way up into the latter third of the first round. That of course opens up the possibility of the 49ers moving down to that late first round area to grab Paea, while managing to add some additional picks.

However, I have to wonder if Paea is a good fit for the 49ers defensive scheme. I don't know a lot about Paea, but in my research it seems like people are projecting him out as more of a 4-3 defensive tackle. He measured in over the weekend at 6'1, 303 pounds. Not exactly a small man, but not necessarily big enough to handle the gap-filling role of a 3-4 nose tackle. Do people think he can overcome the size issue, or do people see him swapping over to defensive end in a 3-4?

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