Do Wonderlic Test Scores Actually Matter?

The 2011 NFL Combine is known for physical measurements, 40-yard dashes, vertical leaps and the bench press. It's a time when many of the players eligible for the 2011 NFL draft get together in a workout environment to show scouts what they can and can't do.

It's also known for the Wonderlic Test. As SB Nation's Andy Hutchins explained, the Wonderlic is the cognitive ability test that's been used on NFL draftees dating back to the Tom Landry era. 

So what does it actually mean? 

A low score and you're going to get hit with a media storm questioning whether you have the ability to process NFL playbooks at a rapid pace. However, a low score doesn't mean your NFL future is ruined. QB Vince Young reportedly received a six on the Wonderlic -- that's a very low score -- but was still drafted third overall.

A high score doesn't seem to help you as much as a low score can hurt you. I think that teams, if they use the Wonderlic at all, are more concerned with a player showing at least average intelligence (a score of 20). Harvard QB Pat McInally scored the only verified perfect score saying at the time, "One of the reasons I did so well is because I didn't think it mattered. So I think I didn't feel any pressure at all. It was more of a lark, and that's when you do your best. If I took it 100 times I'd probably never do that again."

IIf a player like Young comes along again, the team drafting him third overall may say it doesn't matter (what else would they say). And then we may see other teams who say they passed on a player like Young because the Wonderlic does matter.

So ultimately we don't really know how teams use the Wonderlic.

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