There are no academic studies that prove a Wonderlic score is indicative of players’ on-field performance, but the test itself is still one of the most hotly debated pre-draft measurables.
Browns tight end Ben Watson answered 48 of 50 questions correctly at the 2004 Scouting Combine. He discussed the test’s significance in a Thursday interview with Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald.
“I don’t know how much weight is put on it,” conceded Watson, whom the Patriots drafted with the 32nd overall pick in 2004. “Some teams, I hear, put a lot of weight on it. Some teams don’t care. So I don’t know for sure. What I do know is, it’s not an exact science.”
Watson, obviously, is right. If his 48 score were predictive of his NFL production, Watson would have better statistics than Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez. Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the next Joe Montana.
“Does a higher Wonderlic mean you’ll perform better on the field? It might, or it might not,” Watson said. “A person’s football ability might be totally different than their ability to score high on an aptitude test.
“I mean, I understand why the test is there. They want to have some type of standardized benchmark. They want to compare, and keep everyone on the same level. But when you look at it, a Wonderlic score doesn’t have as much to do with football as your film does in college and your body of work.”