When DaVon Hamilton was asked if he had a specific goal for the bench press during his media session at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, the former Ohio State defensive tackle gave a modest reply.
“I’m just going to try to do my best,” Hamilton said. “It’s always a competition, so I want to be the winner.”
Well, Hamilton certainly did his best on Friday, and he was in fact the winner.
Hamilton earned the title of NFL Scouting Combine's strongest defensive lineman on Friday when he put up 33 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press, the most among all defensive linemen who participated.
Count 'em, @dmhamilton53 That's 33 reps of 225 on the bench -- the most of any defensive lineman at the #NFLCombine— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) February 28, 2020
Watch all of the Buckeyes at the Combine on @nflnetwork all weekend!#GoBucks #DevelopedHere pic.twitter.com/cyiKFpDpiW
With only defensive backs left to lift, Hamilton's 33 reps are the fourth-most among all players who participated in the bench press at the combine, behind only a trio of offensive linemen: Fresno State's Netane Muti, Indiana's Simon Stepaniak and Clemson's John Simpson.
His 33 reps are the most by a Buckeye since former Ohio State center Corey Linsley had 36 lifts of 225 pounds at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.
Hamilton's big performance on the bench press will only improve his stock for the 2020 NFL draft, and he'll have a chance to improve his stock even more when he participates in on-field workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday.
Hamilton was the only Buckeye who participated in the bench press on Friday, as linebacker Malik Harrison and defensive end Chase Young both did not lift. Harrison is expected to join Hamilton in participating in on-field workouts on Saturday, but Young will not do any combine drills.
Offensive lineman Jonah Jackson was the only Buckeye to go through on-field drills on Friday, as running back J.K. Dobbins ultimately opted not to participate after suffering a high ankle sprain in the Buckeyes' Fiesta Bowl loss to Clemson.
Jackson ran a 5.23-second 40-yard dash and had a 26-inch vertical jump and 8-foot-2 broad jump. All of those numbers ranked in the bottom half of offensive linemen who participated so they probably won't help his draft stock, though his own impressive bench press performance – 28 reps, which tied for sixth among offensive linemen – carries more weight than his ability to sprint and jump as an offensive guard. He also had a 7.83-second 3-cone drill, showing his ability to quickly turn and change directions, which ranked ninth among offensive linemen.