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Importance of the Wonderlic (1 Viewer)

BoulderBob

Footballguy
I found this on a different board. The man claims to be a scout for an unspecified NFL team. His view seems legit...

If the rumor that Vince Young got a 6 on the Wonderlic is accurate, it doesn't mean that he can't read or that he's more stupid than a table or anything like that. What it means is either a) he can miss details when taking direction, or b) he doesn't process unfamiliar printed information very quickly.

It isn't that the questions on the Wonderlic are hard - the 50th question on all the versions I've seen is essentially a pre-algebraic word problem. It's the time that is the issue. When Jim says that the average score is a 20, that's not a 40% success rate on answering the questions, that's more likely a 80+% answer rate on 20-24 questions.

So for an NFL quarterback prospect, what's the REAL meaning of a poor Wonderlic score? Most likely it means that the prospect won't have the skills to rapidly process new information on the field cognitively. His ceiling is determined solely by feel. He won't be able to come in and immediately learn the 500+ pages of a new NFL offense by holding the clipboard or studying it on the sidelines; he'll have to get behind the wheel and take enough reps to push it down into instinct. A complicated offense with new wrinkles in it each game will probably be tough to pick up, so an OC will have to build their offense around whatever the prospect is capable of. New coaching staffs mean new ways of doing things, so it means that the prospect is going to need scheme stability moreso than a smarter prospect.

For Young, that would mean that he is going to need a team that is willing to give him the keys immediately, will stick by him during the learning process, and most importantly give his coaching staff 5-6 years of job security to let him get real good at running it. If he is nurtured in those ways, he can probably learn enough about being an NFL quarterback to adjust his approach as his skills get older. He's still only going to last as long as the athleticism is there. If he changes teams or coaching staffs often, a 6 Wonderlic quarterback will never get enough of an NFL scheme down to the point where it's instinctual.

Tennessee is likely the absolute best place in the NFL to maximize Vince Young's chances for professional success. New Orleans would kill him as a potential star.

 

Koya

Footballguy
Interesting take. There have been other QBs, that have scored low or have had the rep of not being able to absorb a playbook who have come out doing well - and one of those I believe is McNair. If we recall, it took McNair quite a while to really "get it" at the NFL level - and Young has considerably more raw talent imo, athletically.

That said, McNair obviously has the ability to understand the NFL game, defensive schemes, all of that. If someone is really THAT slow, it might be in terms of processing a written test - or maybe they are simply not smart enough to handle the QB position in the NFL.

For someone to invest a top 5 pick when you might not be sure if the guy has the mental ability, that is a huge risk.

I wonder if teams will, through the interview process, try to determine if Young might just be a very poor tester, or very poor at this format test, or if, indeed, he is not smart enough to handle the job at hand.

 

Sea Bass

Footballguy
Thanks Bob,

Finally someone has taken this story out of the trash pile and brought a sense of realism to the issue. I am an Ohio State and Seahawks fan who wishes nothing but the best for Vince Young.

 

Mr. Vegas

Footballguy
Thanks Bob,

Finally someone has taken this story out of the trash pile and brought a sense of realism to the issue. I am an Ohio State and Seahawks fan who wishes nothing but the best for Vince Young.
Is it really much different then what was already said? I'm just asking? :shrug:
 

Sea Bass

Footballguy
I believe that it is different from labeling the young man and his school as "stupid" and suggesting that he should either play wide receiver or flip burgers for a living. If he has a learning disability then there are ways to cope and be successful at the same time.

 

Koya

Footballguy
Thanks Bob,

Finally someone has taken this story out of the trash pile and brought a sense of realism to the issue. I am an Ohio State and Seahawks fan who wishes nothing but the best for Vince Young.
I don't think that sounding alarm if (and it is still IF) this story is true means you wish bad upon Young. I dont know much about Young as a person, but unless I hear reason not to, wish him all the best. I hope that this story is not true and if it is, I hope there is some explanation.

That said, if any potential QB has serious question about his ability to absorb the NFL from a mental/intellectual standpoint, discussing that is no different than a poor 40 time, concern about an injury or other factors that contribute to a players value in the NFL.

 

xWeaselx

Footballguy
Come on. You can make up as many excuses as you want but the man still got a 6 which is hard to do. Frank Gore got a 6 and has a severe learning disability.

 

paydrt

Footballguy
What, they're retabulating his wonderlic score, or letting him redo it? He doesn't throw at the combine, questions abound about his ability to read defenses, Whatever, this sounds like his agent is in damage control mode, like the Vince supporters on this board. Spin it however you want, he's starting to look like a fraud.

 

Texasmouth

Footballguy
hate to argue, but the guy who created the test said anyone who scores under 10 is illiterate. I am hoping the test was just scored incorrectly.

Most prospects take the test more than once, several take it three times.

 

msommer

Footballguy
My company tests every applicant with a a harder version of the Wonderlic. The test is not an IQ test. It is a 'how do you use your smarts under pressure' test.

I use it and I might hire a guy with a six score for a manual job, but certainly not in an office job where you sometimes need to think on your feet. If I am hard pressed I might hire an 18.

Is being a QB in the NFL a job where you need smarrts under pressure?

You tell me.

Edit to add.

We test everyone twice and usually count the lowest score. Theonly exception is if the two scores are very different, then we test a third time. The two closest ones will count - and I'd pick the lower score of the two

 
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ImTheScientist

Footballguy
What, they're retabulating his wonderlic score, or letting him redo it? He doesn't throw at the combine, questions abound about his ability to read defenses, Whatever, this sounds like his agent is in damage control mode, like the Vince supporters on this board. Spin it however you want, he's starting to look like a fraud.
Couldn't agree more
 

gzilla

Footballguy
Casserly quote disputing VY Wonderlic

Indianapolis — Internet reports that Texas quarterback Vince Young scored in the single-digits on the Wonderlic Intelligence Test were labeled as inaccurate by Houston Texans general manager Charlie Casserly.

"I have been told that's inaccurate from a source good enough for me to stand up here and quote it," Casserly told about 100 reporters. "Otherwise, I wouldn't just get up here and say it."
 

redman

Footballguy
Casserly quote disputing VY Wonderlic

Indianapolis — Internet reports that Texas quarterback Vince Young scored in the single-digits on the Wonderlic Intelligence Test were labeled as inaccurate by Houston Texans general manager Charlie Casserly.

"I have been told that's inaccurate from a source good enough for me to stand up here and quote it," Casserly told about 100 reporters. "Otherwise, I wouldn't just get up here and say it. It actually took two hands to show how many points he got."
Fixed. :popcorn:
 

Jason Wood

Zoo York
There's an enormous difference between scoring a 6 and a 16. The Wonderlic has been a standard part of the Combine for ages. Same number of questions, same format, same level of difficulty. Considering how much time and effort go into every facet of preparing these guys for the Combine, Pro Days and maximizing their perceived value, getting a 6 is almost unfathomable.

How were his advisers not preparing him day in, day out to take the test? Even if VY IS illiterate, how did they not explain to him that, at a minimum, he should make a guess on every question before time runs out? And if he DID guess [i.e., answer] every question, you have to really be concerned since the EV would be 10 [assuming 50 questions, 5 options per question].

Honestly, I'm all for letting him retake it and getting a 16, maybe the 6 really was an incorrectly scored test. But there's no way on Earth I would want my NFL franchise and huge $$$$ committed to a guy who is so borderline illiterate. :no:

I'm a huge VY fan and have thought he had a ton of potential, but taking him as a top 3 pick now makes no sense to me whatsoever.

 

mbuehner

Footballguy
If the rumor that Vince Young got a 6 on the Wonderlic is accurate, it doesn't mean that he can't read or that he's more stupid than a table or anything like that. What it means is either a) he can miss details when taking direction, or b) he doesn't process unfamiliar printed information very quickly.
And how this differs from being stupid is an open question. All this debate about what defines a learning disability compared to just plain being dim is pretty academic (so to speak). All we've done is define why people arent bright, not changed anything pragmatically. At the end of the day whether Young has some mental challenge reading or is plain stupid is immaterial to whether he can process an NFL playbook. Either that or somebody is going to need to start drawing an awful lot of pictures.
 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
Either that or somebody is going to need to start drawing an awful lot of pictures.
Fortunately, that's how the plays are laid out.Ok, that's a smart aleck comment. But sheds light on a bigger point.

I want my franchise QB scoring 35+ on the Wonderlic. But I also want him benching with the lineman, sprinting with the CBs and jumping with the WRs. In other words, I can't have everything I want.

I'm still weighing in on where I stand there. If he posted a 16, he's four points shy of Vick. He's not a Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he's not Jeff George or Troy Davis.

The reality is the NFL combine is designed to expose flaws. And the higher the draft pick, the bigger the microscope. I think it was Colin Cowherd that says all the combine guys have a microscope on them. Young has the Hubble Telescope pointed at him. That's reality.

What hurts as much as anything is this is what had been the sneaking suspicion for many folks. "Athletic QB" is code word for not very smart. He had the chance to bury all that worry and he came up miserably short.

The one fear they had on Young came to be true.

For the handful of guys (like me) who are worried about Reggie Bush being the next Warrick Dunn instead of the Next Gale Sayers, it would be like Reggie Bush stepping on the scales and they register 175 pounds.

No doubt it's a big worry.

But I'm also not convinced it's the end of the world that a QB doesn't handle simple logic or math problems well.

My gut guess today is that it drops him down several slots and he winds up on a much better team than he might have gone to pre Wonderlic and the he fares just fine at this level.

I also think you absolutely must put a huge amount of blame on this with his advisors. He's eschewed the normal big name agents for a family attorney. His business manager is reportedly a close friend that is a middle school teacher. It would be my opinion that these guys are way over their head and it's costing Young millions of dollars. Having him prepped to ace his Wonderlic test is how these guys earn their money. From what I'm reading, he was totally unprepared which skews the field.

Interesting stuff though.

J

 
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ren hoek

Footballguy
Ok, yeah, I was dead wrong. Jeff George scored a 10.

edit: For what it's worth though, Dan Marino only scored a 16. I don't personally find the test to be all that important.

 
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Jason Wood

Zoo York
Ok, yeah, I was dead wrong. Jeff George scored a 10.

edit: For what it's worth though, Dan Marino only scored a 16. I don't personally find the test to be all that important.
Dan Marino is dumb as a doorknob...but he could throw a football.
 

mbuehner

Footballguy
Imo the best thing that could happen to Young is to drop a few places and go to somewhere like Tennessee where the pressure wouldnt be as intense and he would be given the time to learn without everybody looking over his shoulder. I tend to agree the test isnt a huge deal (find me a coach that wouldnt trade ten points off the Wonderlick for two tenths off the 40 time) but its also clear this kid isnt a Manning and could use some time to learn the position before getting pushed into the fire. It would be a shame to see him crack because he got pushed too far too fast, but that has happened in the past.

 

PsychoMan

Footballguy
Either that or somebody is going to need to start drawing an awful lot of pictures.
Fortunately, that's how the plays are laid out.Ok, that's a smart aleck comment. But sheds light on a bigger point.

I want my franchise QB scoring 35+ on the Wonderlic. But I also want him benching with the lineman, sprinting with the CBs and jumping with the WRs. In other words, I can't have everything I want.

I'm still weighing in on where I stand there. If he posted a 16, he's four points shy of Vick. He's not a Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he's not Jeff George or Troy Davis.

The reality is the NFL combine is designed to expose flaws. And the higher the draft pick, the bigger the microscope. I think it was Colin Cowherd that says all the combine guys have a microscope on them. Young has the Hubble Telescope pointed at him. That's reality.

What hurts as much as anything is this is what had been the sneaking suspicion for many folks. "Athletic QB" is code word for not very smart. He had the chance to bury all that worry and he came up miserably short.

The one fear they had on Young came to be true.

For the handful of guys (like me) who are worried about Reggie Bush being the next Warrick Dunn instead of the Next Gale Sayers, it would be like Reggie Bush stepping on the scales and they register 175 pounds.

No doubt it's a big worry.

But I'm also not convinced it's the end of the world that a QB doesn't handle simple logic or math problems well.

My gut guess today is that it drops him down several slots and he winds up on a much better team than he might have gone to pre Wonderlic and the he fares just fine at this level.

I also think you absolutely must put a huge amount of blame on this with his advisors. He's eschewed the normal big name agents for a family attorney. His business manager is reportedly a close friend that is a middle school teacher. It would be my opinion that these guys are way over their head and it's costing Young millions of dollars. Having him prepped to ace his Wonderlic test is how these guys earn their money. From what I'm reading, he was totally unprepared which skews the field.

Interesting stuff though.

J
:goodposting: Wow, some good points here, but I guess that's why you are "Joe Bryant"

 

mbuehner

Footballguy
He's eschewed the normal big name agents for a family attorney. His business manager is reportedly a close friend that is a middle school teacher. It would be my opinion that these guys are way over their head and it's costing Young millions of dollars
These big name athletic programs need to stop pretending to teach their atheletes basket weaving or whatever and give them one class called don't hire anyone you know to represent you 101. 200 level could be 'always hire a high-profile agent' and 300 'except for Drew Rosenhaus'. That encourages kids to stay in school.
 
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salmonstud

Footballguy
I did a quick online search for a Wonderlic online test to see if I can beat a 6...but had no luck. Does anyone have a link to a self-test similiar to the one the NFL utilizes?

 

mbuehner

Footballguy
I did a quick online search for a Wonderlic online test to see if I can beat a 6...but had no luck. Does anyone have a link to a self-test similiar to the one the NFL utilizes?
I heard from several media sources 6 was the lowest recorded but someone can correct me if that is wrong. 6 is actually pretty well below pure chance so its unlikely in the most literal sense someone scored lower. Unless they actually knew the answers and failed on purpose.
 

salmonstud

Footballguy
I did a quick online search for a Wonderlic online test to see if I can beat a 6...but had no luck. Does anyone have a link to a self-test similiar to the one the NFL utilizes?
I heard from several media sources 6 was the lowest recorded but someone can correct me if that is wrong. 6 is actually pretty well below pure chance so its unlikely in the most literal sense someone scored lower. Unless they actually knew the answers and failed on purpose.
That was a joke. I'm fairly confident I can beat a 6. Does anyone have a link to an online Wonderlic test?
 

SoloMatisse

Footballguy
I just heard that David Klingler scored a high 30something several years ago and Alex Smith scored a 40 last year. Thats all I need to know. Klingler obviously sucked....that was proven in time. Alex Smith is an absolute garbage player, and time will bear that out. Given 2 or 3 years, he'll be one of the all time worst #1 picks. Given this info, Vince Young scoring a 16, the same score Dan Marino scored 20 something years ago, shouldnt alarm anyone. The two clowns with the high W scores......worthless. The two Qs with 16s......serious QBs.

 

GregR_2

Footballguy
I just heard that David Klingler scored a high 30something several years ago and Alex Smith scored a 40 last year. Thats all I need to know. Klingler obviously sucked....that was proven in time. Alex Smith is an absolute garbage player, and time will bear that out. Given 2 or 3 years, he'll be one of the all time worst #1 picks. Given this info, Vince Young scoring a 16, the same score Dan Marino scored 20 something years ago, shouldnt alarm anyone. The two clowns with the high W scores......worthless. The two Qs with 16s......serious QBs.
Do you think picking 3 specific QBs and basing your opinion on the test is a solid measure? You could as easily have picked several HoFers (Elway, Young, Aikman) for your high scores and any of dozens of dogs for your low.What would be more interesting (not to mention valid) would be find what the average success rate of QB's taken in a given round by Wonderlic score is, and then compare it to the average success rate for all QBs taken in that round.

*paging Doug Drinen, paging Doug Drinen*

 

GregR_2

Footballguy
Nevermind, it's been done. Well, sort of, he doesn't go by NFL success (which of course would have to be defined). So I suppose he's really just measuring how much teams seem to go by Wonderlic when drafting someone? Don't have time to read the whole thing right now to see if his approach otherwise seems valid.

Abstract

This article presents an empirical analysis of the relationships between intelligence and both passing performance in college and compensation in the National Football League (NFL). A group of 84 drafted and signed quarterbacks from 1989 to 2004 was selected for the study. The author hypothesizes that intelligence is the most important and perhaps most rewarded at this position, and a wide variety of passing performance statistics are available to separate the effects of intelligence and ability. The OLS-estimated models reveal no statistically significant relationship between intelligence and collegiate passing performance. Likewise, the author finds no evidence of higher compensation in the NFL for players with higher intelligence as measured by the Wonderlic Personnel Test administered at the NFL Scouting Combine.
 
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SoloMatisse

Footballguy
I just heard that David Klingler scored a high 30something several years ago and Alex Smith scored a 40 last year.  Thats all I need to know.  Klingler obviously sucked....that was proven in time.  Alex Smith is an absolute garbage player, and time will bear that out.  Given 2 or 3 years, he'll be one of the all time worst #1 picks.  Given this info, Vince Young scoring a 16, the same score Dan Marino scored 20 something years ago, shouldnt alarm anyone.  The two clowns with the high W scores......worthless.  The two Qs with 16s......serious QBs.
Do you think picking 3 specific QBs and basing your opinion on the test is a solid measure? You could as easily have picked several HoFers (Elway, Young, Aikman) for your high scores and any of dozens of dogs for your low.What would be more interesting (not to mention valid) would be find what the average success rate of QB's taken in a given round by Wonderlic score is, and then compare it to the average success rate for all QBs taken in that round.

*paging Doug Drinen, paging Doug Drinen*
Ive heard those or read those #s posted all day...the Means of those Qs who sucked and their correlating Wscores.....its not really that interesting. And Im not trying to perform brain surgery or base anything or make some keenly remarkable decision on 2 scores...simply pointing out that one of the greatest QBs of all time scored the same as Vince, and two of the worst, and both highly regarded QBs entering the draft scored high. Keeping it simple. The best way to judge talent is still with your own eyes and by evaluating the overall FOOTBALL talent of a player....not with any bar graph. Clearly, anyone dismissing Young because he didnt ace this test is missing the point.
 

Hook Em

Footballguy
(Sorry in advance if Clayton's comments are old news by now)

From John Clayton

Here's the story on Vince Young's supposedly low score on the Wonderlic Test. He took a test before the combine and was rumored to have a low score, but according to a league source, it was not the 6 that was rumored over the weekend. Regardless, he took the test again Sunday and got a 16. While it's clearly an improvement, such a low score might make teams question his ability to learn and run an NFL offense, and scare franchises from investing a top-five pick on him. Young made his decision to turn pro late, so he might have been ill-prepared for the exam. By taking the test again and getting a 16, the panic should pass. Young will also get to take another test before the draft.

Link

 
How important is it? Here are some thoughts of NFL personnel types...

chron.com

Sean Jones, a member of Oakland's personnel department, put little stock in Young's Wonderlic score.

"All I need to know about Vince Young is that he came up with one of the greatest performances ever in the Rose Bowl," Jones said. "In the fourth quarter, I saw (USC coach) Pete Carroll throw every kind of blitz at Vince. I saw Vince read the blitz and beat the blitz.

"I don't care what his Wonderlic score is. The only score I care about is 41-38."
Well, Sean, not trying to nitpick, but shouldn't that be two of the greatest performances ever in the Rose Bowl? :P
"The Wonderlic is just a red flag," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "Before the draft, everybody will sit down with Vince and find out if he can process information. The test has been the standard for decades, but it's only one part of the evaluation process. It's just a first step. There'll be a lot of other tests he'll undergo."
"I've seen players test in single digits and play 10 years, and I've seen some guys test in the 30s that couldn't walk across the street," said (Tennessee GM Floyd) Reese, who has been in the NFL since 1975.
"The number really doesn't mean anything to us because we go through a process of four or five other ways to evaluate it," Casserly said. "The number's insignificant to us in the end. It's the other areas that we put more weight on."
Also, his teammate, Roderique Wright, who played against him in practice for 4 years, who is also projected by many as a first rounder:
"I think Vince's decision-making will be missed even more than his athleticism," Wright said about the Longhorns. "We knew all along that Vince was a great athlete who could run and throw, but the biggest improvement he made from his freshman year through his junior year was in the decision-making process.

"You don't lead a team to a national championship if you can't make good decisions."
Finally, I'll add one of my own. Leinart scored what on the Wonderlic? 35? Did that help him see Griffin exploding across the middle when he threw that first half pick against Texas? Did Young's 16 score keep him from making good reads all day on SC?Results on the field of play. That's what matters. The rest is an exercise in futility.

 
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JohnnyU

Footballguy
John Clayton said that anything under a 12 for QBs is frowned up by NFL GM's. They start to question a QB's ability to read defenses and pickup a complicated offense. He said this on Mike and Mike this morning.

 

JohnnyU

Footballguy
Agents for players keep copies of all the tests, so to make a bad score is probably shows a lack of interest more than ability to pass it.

 
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