Every year, despite the hard work put into the combine that tests actual football skills and strengths like speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, there is one test that everyone geeks out over and blows way out of proportion.
The Wonderlic Test is given to NFL players and basically everyone who gushes over the importance of the IQ test actually know little about it. The test is administered in a timed format and applicants need to answer as many questions correctly in the given amount of time. There is no category to skip to, it’s not like the ACT’s.
It’s random questions about random things that make you use your noodle.
The final score is out of 50 and the lower you get, it’s assumed the less intelligent you are.
Some of the more embarrassing scores have been enjoyed by the general public — many of whom have never taken a Wonderlic Test nor would they most likely be truthful about their actual score. Guys lie about the size of everything, even their Wonderlic.
Morris Claiborne, the prospect that most expect the Bucs to draft at fifth overall, scored a four on his Wonderlic.
Now before you panic about this, the test is basically meaningless but it really depends on who you ask. I ask the facts and the past and they suggest Claiborne is fine.
First off, the IQ test is most important to one position and one position only: Quarterback. That’s who you need to be the most intelligent guy on the field. They don’t call him the field general for kicks and giggles.
Just look at the examples given of good and bad Wonderlic Scores. 99 percent are quarterbacks.
Why is the test not a good determine factor of NFL talent? Ryan Leaf scored a 27 and Rex Grossman scored a 29. But wait, it gets better. Matt Leinart scored a 35 and he’s joined in the 30 Club by Joey Harrington (32), Patrick Ramsey (32), J.P Losman (31), Rick Mirer (31), and Dave Klingler (30).
You know Dan Marino? The guy Brett Favre and Peyton Manning have made careers out of chasing in the record books? He scored a 16 as did Terry Bradshaw while Jim Kelly scored a 15.
Claiborne doesn’t need to sweat it, he’s not a quarterback. He doesn’t need to know if a train leaves Denver at 40 mph and reaches Phoenix at 7pm how many passengers it picked up. He needs to know how to cover his man and read the quarterback.
Now the counter argument to that is if the quarterback has a higher score then he must be able to outsmart a cornerback who scored a four.
Yeah, go ask Kyle Boller (27) how well his NFL career went outsmarting corners. Rex Grossman almost joined the 30 Club and he’s made cornerbacks careers throwing to them.
If you need any more proof the Wonderlic won’t effect Claiborne think of this: Patrick Petersen, who played with Claiborne at LSU, scored a 9. He was in consideration for Rookie of the Year this year and if it weren’t for Cam Newton (who scored 21 which is still below the NFL average of 24) he may have gotten it.
No one is going to brag about getting a four in the Wonderlic. That’s like Michael Kelso bragging about skills outside of getting girls. It’s not something Claiborne needs to put on his mantle, but it would be very fulfilling to have other accolades he earns in the NFL in place of it.