Jan 7, 2022 - Sports

NFL eliminating Wonderlic test from draft process

Illustration of a brain with football stitching across the side.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The NFL is eliminating the Wonderlic test from the pre-draft process, according to a memo obtained by the AP.

Why it matters: The IQ test has long been controversial given the lack of correlation between a player's score and his NFL success. Some also believe it has a built-in racial bias, like many standardized tests.

The backdrop: In 1936, E.F. Wonderlic developed a 12-minute, 50-question (multiple choice) test to measure cognitive ability in math, vocabulary and reasoning.

  • Soon enough, the U.S. Navy had adopted the test to help select candidates for pilot training and navigation.
  • In the 1970s, legendary Cowboys coach Tom Landry began using it to evaluate players. His team's success led others to follow suit until it became standard practice across the league.

Best/worst scores:

  • Best: Perfect 50 (P Pat McInally, 1975); 49 (DE Mike Mamula, 1995); 48 (WR Kevin Curtis, 2003; QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, 2005; TE Ben Watson, 2004)
  • Worst: 6 (QB Vince Young, 2006; RB Frank Gore, 2005; QB Oscar Davenport, 1999); 5 (S Ed Prather, 2001); 4 (RB Darren Davis, 2000; CB Morris Claiborne, 2012)

Take a sample Wonderlic and see how you fare.

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