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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Wonderlic Test

Message to Readers:

First, to those of you who are visiting the site for the first time, welcome.

Second, to those of you who are visiting the site for the first time, please post in the comment section what your issues are with our about the Wonderlic test? I have gotten more hits this week on this blog that at any other time during its existence, and it isn't because another blogger or site has linked to this blog. It's because thousands of you have Googled"Wonderlic".

Third, I've read some rumors about scores at this week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, so is that the big deal this time around?

Fourth, how much stock to you put in this test? Do you have any data that suggests that teams with higher Wonderlic scores fare better? I recall a comment once made about Moe Berg, a journeyman Major League catcher (who led a hard and somewhat sad life after baseball), a Princeton graduate who could speak many foreign languages. The comment was to the effect that he could speak a million languages but hit in none. Yes, the Manning brothers have scored very highly on this test, but Peyton's performance in the most recent AFC playoffs suggests that perhaps raw intelligence isn't everything. Terry Bradshaw owns four Super Bowl rings and was a great quarterback, yet I wonder whether he and "very high Wonderlic score" have been written in the same sentence. It's probably the case that Bradshaw's career predates the advent of the Wonderlic test, but you get my point. I loved watching Bradshaw play -- he was a winner. I like watching Peyton Manning play too, and I don't want to bash intellectual QBs or the Wonderlic test, but how much stock should we put in the latter? Shouldn't a players on-field skills and body of work in college count for much more?

Fifth, are the psychological profiles that some sports psychologists do for teams more valuable. I recall reading about one sports psychologist who has done well because he made the call for Indy to draft Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf, having cast doubt about whether Leaf could perform at a high level. Are those evaluations more meaningful? Wouldn't you want Vince Young on your team regardless of his test scores? The guy has a high football IQ, Wonderlic or no Wonderlic.

Thanks for coming to the site and reading my posts. I welcome your comments about the Wonderlic Test and any other post.


Anonymous tim in tampa said...

My concern is more that guys can attend and occasionally even graduate from major universities despite clearly knowing nothing and possessing zero thinking skills.

Also, I keep waiting for you to get rid of the popup ads, but they just won't go away... I mainly read you on RSS just so I don't have to deal with Bravenet Exchange. You have a really great blog... why do you ruin it with popup ads?

11:44 AM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Tim: Thanks for your comments. I'll look into the pop-up ads and see how I can eliminate them. SportsProf

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Tony M. said...

I have always compared a team's pre-draft evaluation of players to a trip to the auto mechanic.

"My Jeep's making a funny noise."

"OK, Mr. Montana, let's plug it into the diagnostic computer ... Nope, nothing unusual there. Let's check the brake pads ... Nope, brakes are OK. How about the belts? Tires? Alternator? Radiator? Everything looks OK."

"But I still hear that noise."

That noise is the possibility that any given college player could be an NFL bust, and each team's got to use all the different tools available to make sure they minimize the risk of drafting the next Tim Couch, William Green or Courtney Brown (I admit I am scarred from years of rooting for the Browns).

The Wonderlic is one tool, psychological evaluation would be another, one-on-one interviews are another, not to mention all the physical tests and measurements, etc.

In drafting a player, the team's decision should be based on an analysis of the results of a combination of all of those. In my opinion, the Wonderlic by itself is useless, but as part of the diagnosis, I think it's just as important as how fast a guy runs or how many bench press reps he can push.

11:13 AM  
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