The NFL Combine’s famous Wonderlic Test, almost topped out by Alabama Crimson Tide QB Greg McElroy according to the Star-Telegram, is the league’s favorite method for measuring the intelligence of NFL Draft candidates. Does it work?
Measuring straight-line speed and upper-body strength: easy. While standardized tests have never done a perfect job of calculating aptitude, taking the Wonderlic with a grain of salt does produce a passable glance at who’s smart and who’s not. Vince Young reportedly scored a 6 out of 50, while Harvard punter Pat McInally scored a flawless 50, nearly matched by Rhodes Scholarship candidate McElroy. All of those results make sense.
What kind of questions are asked? This kind.
Joel Thorman writes that most teams just want to use the test to make sure players aren’t brain-dead, Mike Florio says “scoring too high” can be a problem, and Andy Hutchins shares studies that show a player’s Wonderlic score has little correlation to the quality of his career.