52-reps on the bench, OH MY!

Blaine Sumner is a 6-1, 335 pound nose tackle prospect from Colorado School of the Mines. He’s a three-year starter who accounted for over 30 tackles as a senior, 6.5 tackles for loss and a half sack. However, Sumner is a making a lot of noise this pro day season because of impressive numbers off the field.

The girthy nose tackle pumped out 52-reps on the bench at the Air Force pro day, breaking the all time Combine record of 49 which was just recently set by Oregon State’s Stephen Paea.

Sumner is gifted powerlifter as well who has marks of 900+ pounds on the squat, 600+ pounds on the bench, dead lifts over 800 pounds and hang cleans 400+ pounds. All mind blowing numbers.

However, I got my first look at the guy on the football field yesterday and here are my thoughts…

Possesses some natural bend to his game when asked to coil up into this stance. Displays an above-average first step off the ball for his size, can gain leverage on contact and has a powerful lower half when working the bull rush. Can downright dominate at the point of attack when need be and overwhelm blockers into the backfield. Demonstrates better ball awareness than I expected and does possess some closing range in pursuit.

However, is a stiff, linear athlete. Doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher. Is raw technically, too often leads with his head, doesn’t maximize his length and lacks ideal hand placement initially into contact Allows himself to get upright too easily, especially in the face of a double, but is just so physically powerful he can get away with it at the small-school level.

Overall, the intriguing strength numbers have helped, gaining Sumner some additional attention during the post season. He’s a naturally strong kid who when he keeps his base down can consistently overwhelm and work his way into the backfield. However, he’s stiff, a limited as a pass rusher and simply plays too high when asked to anchor.

Me personally, I wouldn’t give him a draftable grade. I see him more as a size free agent who I wouldn’t mind having in camp. However, with the lack of ideal talent at the nose tackle position this year and the potential of being unable to sign free agents after the draft, I do think Sumner at least gave himself a shot at a draft pick late come April.

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