Wondering About the Wonderlic?

For any novices who happen to be reading the Wonderlic Test is a written test the NFL uses to evaluate a prospects ability to think and solve problems. I haven't heard much about this year's result (maybe I just missed it) but a quick search produced a few scores. Here's this year's top QB scores.

Here are the alleged Wonderlic scores of top NFL prospects. Their score is out of 50:

Sam Bradford - 36

Jimmy Clausen - 23

Colt McCoy - 25

Tim Tebow - 22

According to Paul Zimmerman's The New Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football, the average Wonderlic score for a quarterback is 24, which puts McCoy, Clausen and Tebow about average. The big Wonderlic winner appears to Bradford, who scored well above average.

That's about all I could find. I would be remiss to mention a recent statistical study that determined overall Wonderlic score does not predict NFL success. More after the jump...

The study concluded that general mental ability (GMA) was unrelated to future NFL performance, the draft selection process or the number of games started in the NFL.

"The Wonderlic has limited return on investment with its use in the NFL," Lyons said. "That's kind of contrary to what the traditional employment context speaks to with GMA, which is, GMA is one of our strongest predictors of future employee performance. In [most] occupations, the smarter you are, the better you are going to perform.

"But in this context, because it's so physically based, the results point to that [GMA] really doesn't matter."

Maybe overall across all positions it doesn't matter but certainly it should matter for the QB position. You would think anyway. The first linked post goes on to identify some examples of the score being a bad predictor:

Brett Favre had the same Wonderlic score as Tebow: 22. Pro Bowl quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw, Steve McNair and Randall Cunningham had a Wonderlic score of 15. Percy Harvin, the 2009 NFL Rookie of the Year, had a Wonderlic score of 12.

Conversely, NFL bust Drew Henson had a Wonderlic score of 42. In case you're wondering, Pat McInally is the only player to ever earn a perfect score of 50.

I might fault that post for not also drawing examples of star players who did score well on the test. For example, Peyton Manning 28, Tony Romo 37, Eli Manning 37, Drew Brees 28 and Tom Brady 33.  Plenty of examples both ways in reality. Here's another list for your reference.

So what do you guys think? Is Bradford's rise possibly related to his Wonderlic score? Is Clausen's score a concern? What if Colt McCoy is available at #48? Should the Panthers be looking at the scores for the late round QB prospects?

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