The Wonderlic test is used to measure general cognitive ability in three areas: math, vocabulary, and reasoning -- and All-Pro defensive back Richard Sherman is questioning the process. Each year, Wonderic scores are revealed in the weeks leading up to the draft and a low score is waved as a "red flag" not to draft a player -- especially a quarterback.
Tua Tagovailoa was the latest signal caller to be Tagovailoa scored a 19 at the NFL Scouting Combine when he took the test and the 13 he recorded was when he first took the test at the University of Alabama in spring of 2018. There were other scores reported that were actually higher than the initial score that was reported, per Albert Breer of the Monday Morning Quarterback.. Conflicting reports ensued on what score Tagovailoa actually received, as ESPN's Laura Rutledge reported
Tagovialoa's score is still below average (the average score is 20), but the score shouldn't determine how he'll fare as a NFL quarterback. Sherman criticized the Wonderlic and it's place in the NFL Draft process.
Sherman says there's a good reason why teams shouldn't use the test as a measurement.
Yea the wonderlic is taken at a time where guys have little to no sleep and are being rushed around. Not many take it seriously because most understand it has little to no bearing on their draft grade— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) April 18, 2020
All-Pro defensive end Cameron Jordan shared the same sentiments as Sherman, implying it's a tool to improve a player's draft stock. Jordan isn't incorrect in that assessment, as former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Mike Mamula scored a 49 during the 1995 NFL Scouting Combine -- one which raised his draft stock into becoming a top-10 pick.
Wonderlic... that’s how@you skyrocket up the draftboards👀👀👀 yah that’ll tell the brass of football teams you’re football ready...😐— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) April 17, 2020
Sherman reportedly had a 24 on the Wonderlic and he netted a pretty impressive career for himself, earning three First Team All-Pro selections. The average score for cornerbacks that take the Wonderlic is 18.
Having a poor Wonderlic test score doesn't mean much for a professional football career. Frank Gore scored a 6 (one of the lowest ever) and is third on the NFL's all-time rushing list. Darrelle Revis netted a 10 on the Wonderlic and was arguably the best cornerback of his era, earning four First Team All-Pro selections.
Hall of Fame quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Dan Marino each scored a 15 and still ended up becoming one of the top quarterbacks of their era. Donovan McNabb had a score of 14 on the test and went 98-62-1 in 13 seasons, making six Pro Bowls. 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson scored a 13 on the test.
Bottom line: The Wonderlic test isn't indicative of how a player's NFL career will unfold -- which could be the message Sherman is trying to send. Whether players take it seriously is another story, especially since they know the scores will likely be released and the criticism will head their way if they score low.