New Combine test will measure “wide range of competencies”

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More details are emerging from NFL Network regarding the new testing procedure that will be used at the Scouting Combine this week, along with the time-honored (and outdated) Wonderlic.

According to the NFL’s internal memo, the new test “measures a wide range of competencies, including learning styles, motivation, decision-making skills, responding to pressure or unexpected stimuli, and core intellect.”

There are still no details about how the test will specifically work or the kinds of questions it will feature.  Which means that, for at least this year, the test will yield the most accurate results.  What those results mean is a different issue.

The memo also stresses that the new test was developed by a professor of industrial/organizational psychology, with input from current and former personnel executives including Thomas Dimitroff, John Elway, Jerry Reese, and Ernie Accorsi.

“This is an exciting innovation that brings updated best practices from corporate America to the NFL football operations,” the memo states, making us wonder who in the world would find a test that doesn’t involve unique consequences for incorrect answers exciting.  “By giving clubs new and more relevant information, it offers additional information to supplement your decision-making in the draft.  One of the most interesting aspects is that new information on player learning styles can potentially help our coaches’ work more effectively with young players.”

If it’s better than the Wonderlic, it’s an improvement.  Of course, that’s a low bar; the only defense anyone has offered to explain the ongoing use of the Wonderlic test at the Combine is the fact that the Wonderlic test has been used for decades.

25 responses to “New Combine test will measure “wide range of competencies”

  1. “measures a wide range of competencies, including learning styles, motivation, decision-making skills, responding to pressure or unexpected stimuli, and core intellect.”

    I can’t wait til these test results start leaking. This is going to be so much fun.

  2. the test should be to get the players drunk, and present them with a cellphone and car keys (along with a car). Those who take the car keys and drive should fail and those who take the cellphone and call someone up pass.


  3. Florio, how do you know the Wonderlic is outdated? Are you a psychiatrist, or did you stay in a Holiday Inn?

  4. Great, John elway questions are tough. How many times did the horse cross the road? What is a horses favorite food? How many bicuspids does a horse mouth contain? Was mr. Ed real? If you have 1 horsepower, how many mph will you travel in a 10 mph wind?

  5. Maybe this new test will help weed out the Jarmarcus Russells, Kenny Britts, Titus Youngs, Vince Youngs, etc.

    However, there will still be idiot GM’s that will draft them

  6. It’s not an exciting innovation. Using some sort of logical testing methods is a concept that has been widely used for decades. This isn’t evolving the process, it’s just one small step towards being where the NFL should be, which is still way behind compared to other industries that use more sophisticated methods of analyzing candidates.

  7. They should just do away with the Wonderlic. Sure, Vince Young flunked it and we all know how that turned out but if memory serves, Dan Marino didn’t score high either and he did OK for himself…

  8. The wonderlic is not a bad measure of basic intelligence. It has its flaws but it works. The scores that leak are the really smart ones or the really dumb ones. It may not translate to football instincts but it does give an idea of a player’s ability to understand new concepts. Look at the decisions of the guys we know scored poorly. You can’t say it isn’t a fairly good measurement.

  9. I just want to see Mandingos running 4.4 40s, smoking QB, chumping fools and rattling some skulls. If I cared about learning styles and intellect or some other namby-pamby stuff, I’d go watch a bunch of 5’11”, 145 lb lab dorks. THIS IS FOOTBALL, PEOPLE!! The wussification of America continues!!

  10. It will basically be a measure of whether or not some of these players are intelligent enough to use a scantron sheet. I’ll take the over on more than 20% of players failing.

  11. The reason the wonderlic is important isn’t because of some outdated tradition, saying such is a strawman argument.

    At the end of the day, its an IQ test, and NFL teams want to be able to measure players intelligence, they want to know if a player has the capacity or the ability to learn.

    A player may be genetically gifted, but if he can’t remember the playbook, a team like New England can’t use him.

    If said player has literacy issues, then alot of teams won’t be able to use him.

    Is the wonderlic perfect, or even good at what its supposed to do ? Maybe, but probably not.

    Do we want to start using these players SAT scores as a measurable or use these players college grades ?

    What teams need, is a way to evaluate a players ability to learn, to find out how intelligent these players are and their capacity to learn new concepts and retain information.

    If you can find a better way, go ahead, and suggest it, personally, I think there are plenty of better ways to do it, and numerous companies that would love to take over this aspect.

  12. While the Wonderlic is an accurate intelligence test, it is not a useful tool (and indeed may be counterproductive), for evaluating draft picks. There have been several studies that show that Wonderlic scores have no correlation to draft position or success in the NFL, regardless of position. So the score tells you nothing about how good someone will be as a player, and personnel people are basically ignoring it anyway. In that sense, it is outdated and useless.

  13. The Wonderlic is an IQ test. Companies used to give IQ tests to prospective employees many moons ago. I believe the Supreme Court outlawed the practice citing disparate impact of IQ tests on different racial and ethnic groups.

    IQ is now ascertained through college attended, GPA, and major completed. Football players are an exception to this rule as we have no idea if they ever went to class or actually completed any college level coursework, so the Wonderlic is necessary to get a glimpse of a player’s intelligence. I don’t know why it’s outdated I’m sure tons of employers would love to use it.

  14. well,,,

    why dont we just actually sit them down for the SATs the day after the combine concludes..

    you would think, the testing used to decide whether an individual’s competency before college would be just as effective after.
    Comparing the results from the pre-college test to the post college test will give you all you need to know about that players mental work ethic. Also, it will let you know who actually took the test themselves and who wasn’t smart enough for college in the first place.
    (that right there woulda kept Jamarcus out of the league)

    Other than that, you have the verbal interviews and arrest records to give you a better idea of character

    I dont understand why the NFL has to ‘dumb it up’ on a test that supposedly gauges your intellect.

  15. A great competency test should involve the scenario of leaving a bar…A) Buy another round B) Jump in your pimped out ride and hit the highway C) Call a cab…. C) Is the most correct answer. The A)/C) combo is acceptable.

  16. The supreme ct didn’t outlaw the wonderlic. If they had, the NFL wouldn’t be able to use it. Many other employers also use it, as shown on wonderlic’s website.

  17. Can’t wait to start seeing some of the test results that become leaked. The Jamarcus Russell’s, Eli Manning’s, and Vince Young’s of the world probably won’t like it though.

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