Johnny Football put up a 32 on the Wonderlic test, which means precisely nothing that you couldn't scrape off the bottom of your shoe with a football broom. But this is the season for searching for meaning in every measurable possible, which leads professionals to blurt out this type of nonsense:
Believe it or not, a high Wonderlic score scares some NFL Coaches. They wonder if the player is "too smart for his own good".— Mike McCartney (@MikeMcCartney7) April 11, 2014
Ok, I'm done. I give up. What does that even mean? The players aren't goddamn border collies who are being left in a room full of peanut butter couches all day while their owner is out at happy hour. They're not going to gnaw at their own feet or murder the cat because the NFL doesn't provide enough mental stimulation for them. McCartney's saying that the NFL wants players who are just smart enough to follow basic commands but dumb enough to not question them.
The NFL is NOT slavery, but the exact same forces are at play when you recall that it was against the law to teach a slave to read because the owners couldn't have them getting too smart. Once slaves got smart, they would start to question why Thomas Jefferson wrote weird things like "All men are created equal." Likewise, NFL coaches are afraid of some big shot coming into the league having already read the CBA, and knowing exactly what is and isn't allowed in practices.
NFL GMs should look at Wonderlic scores like I would look at obesity if I were running a software business. I could really give a shit if any of my employees weighed 300 pounds as long as they were qualified for their job. But when we start talking about someone who has to get a wall cut out of his house to get in the ambulance to take him to the office, that's when I start assuming that it's going to affect his work.
Can they understand a playbook and navigate street signs? Good, let's move on to their ability. The second one is even negotiable if you're as talented as Ndamukong Suh. There are a million things that you can be wrong about when it comes to drafting a player, but whether he is too smart for his own good shouldn't be one of them.