Is the NFL's Wonderlic Test Just Another Down-and-Out Decoy?

Published on 19-Apr-2013 by Stacey Mickles

Football - NFL    NFL Daily Update

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Is the NFL's Wonderlic Test Just Another Down-and-Out Decoy?

A story has surfaced that future first-round NFL draft pick Cordarrelle Patterson scored an 11 on the NFL's wonderlic test.

The wonderlic test is given to potential players to test their intelligence. It's 50 questions, and there is a time limit on it. Now, either Patterson is extremely dumb, or just didn't give a rip; either way it looks bad. But does it matter?

Some media members think it does matter because this player could either be a vegetable in disguise or just plain lazy and decided to blow the test off. Other media members are saying, "Hey, they're here to play football, not teach school."

Which is also true. Several players over the years didn't score very high on the test, the most notable being Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, and we saw how his career turned out. Vince Young also scored low on the test, too, and well ...

One of the highest scores recently was by former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, who spent most of last season backing-up Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. 

Intelligence is important when you play football, but this is not rocket science. It's football. How much intelligence do you really need to call or run a play?

Then again, you've got to know how to read and understand what you are doing, but the sort of reaction time in games isn't the same as that needed to calculate pi (π) to the nearest hundred-thousandth. I doubt most NFL general managers really care if a player scores high on this test. It almost seems like exercises such as these are more to justify some front-office geek's job than to actually mean anything tangible.

The fact that the NFL combine has become a marketable media event probably has something to do with it, as well. It gives the media another topic ot cover, and they're always on the hunt for topics because editors are always on the hunt for more NFL articles. They sell.

So until the league decides to award points in games for skill-testing questions, switch over to Jeopardy, where they actually have some impact on the result.

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