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The Wonderlic Test Is Being Dropped At NFL Combine

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According to an Associated Press report released Wednesday, the NFL has plans to eliminate the Wonderlic test for prospective draft picks who are typically asked to take the cognitive ability test that measures intelligence.

Removing the Wonderlic from the Combine is just one change that the league will institute in 2022, the AP reports. Combine drills will be updated for wide receivers and tight ends to test crossing route speeds instead of wheel routes. Running backs will be tested on option routes instead of corners and post routes.

But the big news from the NFL’s changes is definitely the Wonderlic hitting the chopping block. And teams have been warned that unprofessional conduct during interviews with prospective draft picks could result in loss of draft picks.

The AP reports teams have been notified that they will forfeit a pick “between the first and fourth round and be fined a minimum of $150,000” if league officials determine “unprofessional” behavior by team representatives.

What specific type of conduct will result in punishment from the NFL? The AP points to an incident in 2010 where Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. Ireland later apologized for that question.

There’s also Dan Quinn asking cornerback Eli Apple about his sexual preference during an interview conducted by the Falcons.

Ben Watson, who scored one of the highest Wonderlic tests in NFL Combine history, says he was interrogated over smoking pot. Watson told the AP how he nearly confessed to a crime he didn’t commit.

The history of the Wonderlic test in the NFL goes back to the 1970s when Tom Landry started using the test. Based on Landry’s use of the test, the NFL started using it at the combine. It didn’t take long before Dan Marino scored a 15 and Ray Lewis scored a 16. Both ended up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile, Harvard grads Pat McInally (perfect score) and Ryan Fitzpatrick destroyed the Wonderlic. McInally went on to develop the idea for Starting Lineup figures and eventually went to work for the Wonderlic organization. Fitzpatrick has gone on to make a fortune in the NFL while throwing 223 touchdowns and 169 interceptions.

Combine hero Mike Mamula scored a 49 and was out of the NFL after five seasons.

How will NFL executives determine whether a player is the genius they’ve been looking for or a moron who can turn into a Hall of Famer? It won’t be via the Wonderlic.

Tunji Oki, PhD, a People Analyst at Google, wrote in 2015 that NFL teams could use job knowledge tests or situational judgment tests to determine how an individual would respond in a realistic job scenario. “While a knowledge test on a specific position may be overkill, a knowledge test on the rules, requirements, and policies of the NFL could yield significant predictive value,” Oki notes in his 2015 report.

Before you laugh at testing prospective draft picks on NFL rules, consider the fact that Najee Harris didn’t realize ties existed in the NFL.

One thing is certain: NFL executives will find new ways to test these guys. It’s just a matter of how they determine the perfect testing measures without losing draft picks.

Go here if you’d like to test your Wonderlic abilities against NFL draft picks.

Highest Wonderlic Scores in NFL Combine History (via):

50 — Pat McInally (punter)

49 — Mike Mamula (defensive end)

48 — Kevin Curtis (wide receiver)

48 — Ryan Fitzpatrick (quarterback)

48 — Ben Watson (tight end)

Lowest Wonderlic Scores in NFL Combine History:

6 — Vince Young (quarterback)

6 — Frank Gore (running back)

6 — Oscar Davenport (quarterback)

5 — Ed Prather (safety)

4 — Darren Davis (running back)

4* — Morris Claiborne (later diagnosed to have a learning disability

Highest Wonderlic Scores by NFL Combine Wide Receivers (20 & above):

Kevin Curtis 48 WR
Eric Decker 43 WR
Calvin Johnson 41 WR
Cooper Kupp 37 WR
Demaryius Thomas 34 WR
Jared Abbrederis 32 WR
Corey Davis 31 WR
Jordan Matthews 29 WR
Jordy Nelson 28 WR
Mike Evans 25 WR
Jeremy Maclin 25 WR
Robert Woods 23 WR
Santonio Holmes 23 WR
Andre Johnson 23 WR
Malcolm Kelly 22 WR
Jalen Strong 22 WR
Curtis Samuel 22 WR
Amari Cooper 21 WR
Dorial Green-Beckham 20 WR
Ardarius Stewart 20 WR

Highest Wonderlic Scores by NFL Combine Quarterbacks (25 & above):

Ryan Fitzpatrick 48 QB
Greg McElroy 48 QB
Jason Maas 43 QB
Blaine Gabbert 42 QB
Drew Henson 42 QB
Ryan Nassib 41 QB
Bruce Eugene 41 QB
Hugh Millen 41 QB
Carson Wentz 40 QB
Alex Smith 40 QB
Darrell Hackney 40 QB
Jeff Matthews 40 QB
Sean Mannion 40 QB
Nate Stanley 40 QB
Eli Manning 39 QB
Todd Husak 39 QB
Brian Griese 39 QB
Matthew Stafford 38 QB
Colin Kaepernick 38 QB
Matt Flynn 38 QB
Omar Jacobs 38 QB
Charlie Frye 38 QB
Craig Crenzel 38 QB
Scott Frost 38 QB
Kevin Hogan 38 QB
Scott Tolzien 38 QB
Josh Allen 37 QB
Akili Smith 37 QB
Tony Romo 37 QB
Andrew Luck 37 QB
Travis Lulay 37 QB
Marques Hagans 37 QB
Chuck Hartlieb 37 QB
Jared Goff 36 QB
Sam Bradford 36 QB
Justin Holland 36 QB
Drew Bledsoe 36 QB
Jason Garrett 36 QB
Anthony Dilweg 36 QB
Jared Zabransky 36 QB
Aaron Rodgers 35 QB
Matt Leinart 35 QB
Christian Ponder 35 QB
Kellen Clemens 35 QB
Wes Pate 35 QB
Zak Kustok 35 QB
JT O’Sullivan 35 QB
Ryan lindley 35 QB
Travis Brown 35 QB
John Dutton 35 QB
Steve From 35 QB
Drew Stanton 35 QB
Jake Fromm 35 QB
Craig Ochs 34 QB
Sam Keller 34 QB
Cory Pyles 34 QB
Ryan Tannehill 34 QB
Brad Kaaya 34 QB
Joe Burrow 34 QB
Tom Brady 33 QB
Nathan Peterman 33 QB
Charlie Whitehurst 33 QB
Josh Betts 33 QB
Justin Fuente 33 QB
Mike Elkins 33 QB
Steve Young 33 QB
Marcus Mariota 33 QB
Kirk Cousins 33 QB
Johnny Manziel 32 QB
Matt Ryan 32 QB
Girbran Hamdan 32 QB
Joey Jarrington 32 QB
Patrick Ramsey 32 QB
Jesse Palmer 32 QB
Sage Rosenfels 32 QB
Walter Church 32 QB
Giovanni Carmazza 32 QB
Sam Keenan 32 QB
Kevin Daft 32 QB
Brian Brohm 32 QB
Josh Woodrum 32 QB
Matt Schaub 31 QB
Andrew Walton 31 QB
JP Losman 31 QB
Dave Ragone 31 QB
Kliff Kingsbury 31 QB
Greg Noll 31 QB
Justin Coleman 31 QB
Todd Bandhauer 31 QB
Cody Fajardo 31 QB
Rick Mirer 31 QB
Trent Edwards 31 QB
Connor Halliday 31 QB
Bryce Petty 31 QB
Quincy Carter 30 QB
Phillip Rivers 30 QB
Ricky Stanzi 30 QB
Ingle Martin 30 QB
Josh Haldi 30 QB
Stefan Lefors 30 QB
Trevor Knight 30 QB
Gino Guigudli 30 QB
Matt Mauck 30 QB
Scott Rislov 30 QB
Daniel Cobb 30 QB
Josh McCown 30 QB
Darnell Kennedy 30 QB
Matt Barkley 30 QB
Josh Siple 30 QB
Bill Burke 30 QB
David Klingler 30 QB
John Beck 30 QB
Zach Mettenberger 30 QB
Josh Rosen 29 QB
Troy Aikman 29 QB
Brady Quinn 29 QB
John Elway 29 QB
Andy Dalton 29 QB
Rex Grossman 29 QB
Chris Weinke 29 QB
Marc Bulger 29 QB
Jeff Driskel 29 QB
Nick Foles 29 QB
Josh Dobbs 29 QB
Brian Cook Click 29 QB
Matt Hasselbeck 29 QB
Bill Musgrave 29 QB
Dennis Dixon 29 QB
Jimmy Garoppolo 29 QB
Logan Thomas 29 QB
Keith Wenning 29 QB
Tom Savage 29 QB
Aaron Murray 29 QB
Jake Luton 29 QB
Sam Darnold 28 QB
Blake Bortles 28 QB
Mark Sanchez 28 QB
Juston Wood 28 QB
Brooks Bollinger 28 QB
Seth Burford 28 QB
George Godsey 28 QB
Drew Brees 28 QB
Caitlin Down 28 QB
Peyton Manning 28 QB
Kevin Kolb 28 QB
Matt Gutierrez 28 QB
Deshone Kizer 28 QB
EJ Manuel 28 QB
Russell Wilson 28 QB
Nate Sudfeld 28 QB
Landry Jones 28 QB
Josh Freeman 27 QB
Joe Flacco 27 QB
Dustin Long 27 QB
Kyle Boller 27 QB
Brian St. Pierre 27 QB
Kirk Farmer 27 QB
Jason Guesser 27 QB
Brandon Dillman 27 QB
Jameis Winston 27 QB
Jonathan Smith 27 QB
Aaron Smith 27 QB
Mike McMahon 27 QB
David Rivers 27 QB
Josh Booty 27 QB
Tim Mckay 27 QB
Chris Greeson 27 QB
Ryan Leaf 27 QB
Kelly Stouffer 27 QB
Rich Gannon 27 QB
Alex Brink 27 QB
Brandon Weeden 27 QB
Jordan Love 27 QB
Carson Palmer 26 QB
Jay Cutler 26 QB
Kyle Orton 26 QB
C.J. Beathard 26 QB
Ryan Mallett 26 QB
Dan Orlovsky 26 QB
Brett Hundley 26 QB
Adrian Mcpherson 26 QB
Kellen Moore 26 QB
Jason White 26 QB
Timmy Chang 26 QB
Jason Fife 26 QB
Jared Lorenzen 26 QB
Major Applewhite 26 QB
Tim Lester 26 QB
Akili Smith 26 QB
Rodney Peete 26 QB
Mike Glennon 26 QB
Baker Mayfield 25 QB
Ben Roethlisberger 25 QB
Chad Pennington 25 QB
Colt McCoy 25 QB
Cardale Jones 25 QB
Shane Carden 25 QB
Ben Dougherty 25 QB
Casey Bramlett 25 QB
Bradley Van Pelt 25 QB
Byron Leftwich 25 QB
Ken Dorsey 25 QB
Dak Prescott 25 QB
David Neal 25 QB
Randy Fasani 25 QB
Davis Webb 25 QB
Mitchell Trubisky 25 QB
Shaun Hill 25 QB
Connor Cook 25 QB
Brock Osweiler 25 QB
Shane Griggs 25 QB
Josh Harris 25 QB
Spurgeon Wynn 25 QB
Brock Huard 25 QB
Joe Jermaine 25 QB
Shaun King 25 QB
Justin Herbert 39 QB
Anthony Gordon 25 QB
Brian lewerke 25 QB

Highest Wonderlic Scores by NFL Combine Running Backs (20 & above):

Zach Zenner 35 RB
Dare Ogunbowale 35 RB
Ezekiel Elliott 32 RB
Danny Woodhead 29 RB
Charles Scott 26 RB
Giovani Bernard 25 RB
Anthony Dixon 25 RB
Arian Foster 25 RB
Jerick Mckinnon 24 RB
Alvin Kamara 24 RB
Jahvid Best 24 RB
Lawrence Phillips 23 RB
Andre Williams 23 RB
Jeremy Hill 22 RB
Christian McCaffrey 21 RB
Donnel Pumphrey 21 RB
Jonathan Stewart 20 RB
Melvin Gordon 20 RB
Corey Clement 20 RB

Highest Wonderlic Scores by NFL Combine Linebackers (20 & above):

Pete Kendall 41 LB
Luke Kuechly 34 LB
Shayne Skov 34 LB
Chris Borland 32 LB
Max Bullouch 31 LB
Terrell Suggs 31 LB
Keenan Robinson 29 LB
T.J. Watt 29 LB
Anthony Walker 29 LB
Anthony Barr 28 LB
Raekwon McMillan 28 LB
John Mobley 27 LB
Clay Matthews 27 LB
Alex Anzalone 26 LB
Regan Upshaw 24 LB
Kevin Pierre-Louis 24 LB
Terrell Manning 23 LB
Charles Harris 23 LB
Alex Moulden 23 LB
Brian Cushing 23 LB
Vince Biegel 23 LB
Jarrad Davis 23 LB
Reggie Brown 22 LB
Zach Cunningham 22 LB
Kevin Hardy 21 LB
Jarrad Davis 21 LB
Haason Reddick 21 LB
Ryan Shazier 20 LB
Demarcus Lawrence 20 LB

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

4 Comments

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    • There’s nothing racist about the test. It’s not like smart white boys are going to take over the NFL or the qb position. Don’t look for excuses come out and compete against other grown ass men or STFU…It’s really that simple.

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