All top quarterback prospects scored more than 20 on Wonderlic

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The relevance of the Wonderlic test to a player’s football ability remains uncertain at best, and the inability of the NFL to secure the results justifies the refusal by players to take the test. (None have, yet.) Ideally, the league would get rid of the Wonderlic entirely, given the extent to which low scores often result in the shaming of players who take the 12-minute, 50-question test as part of a high-stress, little-sleep excursion to Indianapolis. (I’ve been guilty of that in the past, but I’ve since sworn off the practice of either trying to get the numbers or making light of those who didn’t ace it.)

Until the league scraps the test, someone will be reporting on the numbers, and certain aspects of the scores will be newsworthy.

Each year, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel obtains and discloses the scores. This year, each of the 12 incoming quarterbacks ranked by McGinn secured at least a 20 on the test.

Leading the way was Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya (pictured) with a 34. Here are the rest: Nathan Peterman, 33; Trevor Knight, 30; Josh Dobbs, 29; DeShone Kizer, 28; C.J. Beathard, 26; Mitchell Trubisky, 25; Davis Webb, 25; Patrick Mahomes, 24; Chad Kelly, 22; Jerod Evans, 21; Deshaun Watson, 20.

So what does it mean? No one really knows, which is all the more reason to get rid of the test. In past years, Hall of Famers like Terry Bradshaw (16) and Dan Marino (15) struggled. Jeff George had a 10.

On the other end of the spectrum, Blaine Gabbert racked up a 42, Alex Smith scored a 40, Eli Manning got a 39, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck and Tony Romo managed 37s, Aaron Rodgers scored a 35, Tom Brady scored a 33, and Johnny Football arguably was, at least for a day, Johnny Wonderlic, with 32 correct answers.

Again, it’s impossible to make any sense of the scores as it relates to eventual football skill. So if the league is looking for ways to better “respect” the incoming players, a gesture that would be easy, clear, and strong would be to eliminate the Wonderlic test from the Scouting Combine — and to instruct all teams not to conduct their own versions of it.

44 responses to “All top quarterback prospects scored more than 20 on Wonderlic

  1. Oh brother Florio, get off your moral high horse. Just because you can’t obtain them yourself you have no problem reprinting them.

    And who cares? If a guy is a meathead, its just a fact. There are plenty of slow guys who make it in the NFL too, but we have no problem publicizing their 40 times. Its one measurement among many.

    And they are all under the same stress, and the same short schedule, so its a fair comparison.

    We aren’t all created equal. Some people are just not that smart. Just like I cannot run a sub 5 second forty. Facts is facts, as they say.

  2. Do yourselves a favor and take a sample wonderlic test. Then when you’re done you’ll be even more disgusted with anyone claiming it’s racially biased. You simply have to be brain damaged not to do well on it.

  3. This draft is absolutely loaded at so many key positions (S, DL, TE, CB, even RB). This is a very weak QB class. It’ll be interesting to see who plays the desperate card and leaves surefire starters on the board to grab a QB too early.

  4. I took the wonderlic once as part of an interview. It had extremely difficult questions such as which is the largest of
    1/3, 1/2, 2/5 or 1/6. The job tittle was not rocket scientist. I could understand slipping up on one or two because of pressure. Under 20 and you will be making Willis McGahee type mistakes in the game such as wrestling for the ball with the QB on play action.
    Pay attention in school kids.

  5. “We stopped reporting on Wonderlic scores several years ago”

    ^^^ from an article written by YOU three days ago.

  6. “low scores often result in the shaming of players”

    So you’re shaming the two lowest scoring quarterbacks: Jerod Evans and Deshaun Watson?

  7. I like he posts QB with low scores from 2 decades ago and all of the high scores from recent QB’s. I have taken the the tests before. If you score really low there is an issue. I have taken the practice test they have on their web site. There are a few questions that are so easy I am not sure how anyone could miss them. But I have the feeling some do still. My guess is someone that has trouble with even the simplest questions might have a hard time learning a NFL playbook.

  8. Take the 50 question test yourselves.

    If you do you will see that it is NOT racist, you will know that anyone who says it is racist is an imbecile, and that the scores are probably more affected by time and their grasp of English than anything else.

    wonderlictestsample dot com

  9. I worked for a company that used the wonderlic to screen candidates (illegally I might add). You had to have minimum 30 to be a call center agent and 34 for any manager plus. The test is much more difficult in real life than it is online. The online tests are bogus. All of them. My experience as an executive hiring using the wonderlic tells me that anyone with less than a 25 should not be trusted with a high draft pick and millions of dollars and a key role on any team. I would not draft Watson based on that score alone.

  10. Where did racism come into this? Some people as usual showing their true colors. Whatever makes people feel like they know something that they dont, the fact remains that Dan Marino got a 14 or something on the test, and he’s one of the most prolific QBs ever. Jim Kelly didn’t do so hot on it either. Not to mention that every year there is a person who hits in the upper 30s on it and never does anything in the league. It means you do well at standardized tests, which isn’t indicative of anything. Anyone claiming definitively that it is is an idiot.

  11. arcross12042004scorp15 says:
    Apr 23, 2017 2:54 PM
    I took the wonderlic once as part of an interview. It had extremely difficult questions such as which is the largest of
    1/3, 1/2, 2/5 or 1/6. The job tittle was not rocket scientist.
    The actual “rocket scientist” (Josh Dobbs of Tennessee) only got a 29.

  12. “Leading the way was Pitt quarterback Brad Kaaya”. Yeah not gonna give a lot of weight to the opinion of a dope who cant proofread his own 2 paragraph story.

    I am sure the ONLY thing that kept you from going to Harvard was that silly,useless LSAT.

  13. I hate how we down play the wonderlic now. Somehow, intelligence doesn’t matter any more? Why the hell not? If these guys can train night and day for the 40, why can’t they study for the test too?

    There’s a reason why Jeff George washed out of the league with that meager brain.

  14. Florio’s point, which most of you are missing, is the score is meaningless. there’s no trend that shows those that score above a certain number will be good and those that score below will not.

    A better test for QBs and most NFL players would be to have them draw up plays based on certain situations or to give them a choice of 4 plays and ask them to choose the best ones base on the defense they see and to explain WHY they choose the play.

  15. Kaepernick never scored a 37, it was 29. The only outlet that posted all the scores that year was PFW and they have Squid at 29. Urban myth. You just have to listen to him to know.

  16. Come on, Florio. “Pittsburg quarterback Brad Kaaya (pictured)”. It’s not like he’s not in uniform in the pic. You can even see the U on his helmet.

  17. It’s easy for you to get on your platform and demand that draftees refuse to take the test. You’re not the one applying for a job in an incredibly competitive market. Do you want to be labeled as the trouble maker who stood up for himself before ever taking a snap?

    Ask Kaepernick what it’s like to take a stand for your beliefs.

  18. I’d be afraid of seeing the scores of some of the entertainers that kids are emulating today…

    .. oh wait….

    I wouldn’t sweat posting their scores. We all see the results and make our own assumptions anyway.

  19. Here you go, Mike.

    Arrange to take the test yourself. Put yourself, physically, in their situation. Then, report on it.

    Might be kinda cool and you’d have a basis to really understand and evaluate Wonderlic scores from there… based upon the player, of course… you know. Kaaya’s going to have 10 less interviews to prepare for than D. Watson.. etc.

  20. the Wonderlic is a VERY fundamental intelligence and reasoning test… it has zero to do with football but has a lot to do with about 8th grade level intelligence

    a player not doing well on it is waving a huge red flag that they are likely incapable of doing things like memorizing playbooks, adapting in today’s faster and more sophisticated game, and simply not being able to grasp the more detailed instruction and on the fly decisions required by the game today

    they can replace it with another adult level intelligence test, but it will be even more embarrassing than the scores that get exposed today

    I’ve taken a few sample Wonderlics over the years, and I know that if I had 2 player prospects, regardless of position, with a relatively equal skill set and one of them was scoring a 25, and the other one a 15, considering the simplicity of that test, that I would be really worried about the 15 being able to simply understand the modern game and I would hire the 25 100% of the time….

    we are talking about millions of dollars and coaches betting their jobs on these decisions… lets stop pretending the players don’t even have to be able to simply understand a 9th grade algebra problem after they supposedly graduated college

  21. The tape shows you how smart a guy plays football while under immense pressure and duress. The Wonderlic test shows how well a guy did on a test while sitting in the calmness of a classroom. There could be some crossover, but the tape eliminates the guess work.

  22. Alot of players that come from inner city schools which have AWFUL academics, parental support, books, teachers etc compared to suburban schools. That being said if all these guys are in state/private colleges the playing field and learning should be closer to equal now. Lastly, how does a guy thats been at a school as long as watson was get that low of a score?

  23. The Wonderlic doesn’t have any truly difficult questions, but it has quite a few math questions that take a little work with the pencil and paper. The real issue is the time pressure.

    Twelve minutes to answer 50 questions is not much time. Sure, there are some that most people should be able to answer in a second or two, but you could blow 30 seconds on some of the math questions and the next thing you know, you’re running out of time. I’d be willing to bet that most who get scores of 25 or more flat ran out of time.

    I don’t know what real use it is to know how good a guy’s vocabulary is and how well he can do math under time pressure. I’d say it’s of minor utility; might help distinguish two guys who look similar in other measurables, but that’s about it. I’d a lot rather rely on how a guy does in a conversation with coaches about game planning, play calling and analysis and the like.

  24. I worked for a company that used the wonderlic to screen candidates (illegally I might add).


    ummm, yeah it IS legal to screen applicants with an intelligence tese

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