Ah, the mysteries of the Wonderlic Test. Pat McInally of Harvard is the only NFL Draft prospect to ever achieve a perfect score of 50 on the Wonderlic Test, the famous aptitude test administered to former college football players vying to impress NFL scouts at the Draft Scouting Combine. Boston College graduate/workout warrior/NFL bust Mike Mamula reportedly scored 49 on the Wonderlic test. Ryan Fitzpatrick, also a Harvard graduate and the Buffalo Bills starting QB, scored 48 in just nine minutes.
Former member of the New England Patriots and current Cleveland Browns tight end Benjamin Watson also scored a 48, tied with Fitzpatrick for highest among current NFL players.
On the other side of the spectrum, Dan Marino scored a 16 and Vince Young tied him on his second test try, after sources confirmed his previously reported Wonderlic test score of six to be erroneous. It was reported that West Virginia’s Tavon Austin scored a 7.
A 2009 study by Brian D. Lyons, Brian J. Hoffman, and John W. Michel found that Wonderlic test scores failed to positively and significantly predict future NFL performance for any position.
The Lyons study also found that the relationship between Wonderlic test scores and future NFL performance was negative for a few positions, indicating the higher a player scores on the Wonderlic test, the worse the player will perform in the NFL.Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com observes that
scoring too high can be as much of a problem as scoring too low. Football coaches want to command the locker room. Being smarter than the individual players makes that easier. Having a guy in the locker room who may be smarter than every member of the coaching staff can be viewed as a problem — or at a minimum as a threat to the egos of the men who hope to be able when necessary to outsmart the players, especially when trying in some way to manipulate them.
McInally, whom the Cincinnati Bengals selected in the fifth round of the 1975 NFL Draft, believes that his perfect score caused him to be selected later than he would have otherwise; George Young told McInally that his score “cost [him] a couple of rounds.
That said, Here’s a 12 question sample with answer key over at Walter Football.com with answer key!
Post your scores in the comment threads below. I got a 44! I scored much higher than my girlfriend. Hahahaha. I’ll automatically win every argument now right? (no, not so much)
And you can learn more about the Wonderlic Cognitive Abilities Test
A Fulbright scholar, author and MBA, Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks)