The NFL Combine is a showcase for NFL Draft prospects, featuring important measurements and skill position drills. Yet, sometimes the most talked about event doesn't even happen on the playing field. That would be the Wonderlic, a popular, yet divisive, test that seems to attract controversy every year.
The Wonderlic is a standardized test that is intended to measure cognitive ability, skill, behavioral liability and personality. The test has 50 multiple choice questions that are to be answered in less than 12 minutes. 20 is considered an average score, with 30 being well above average.
The players' Wonderlic scores are supposed to be confidential, but every year it seems like a handful get leaked out to the media for one reason or another. There is still a lot of debate as to whether a player's score is an indicator of future NFL success, but for the most part teams would prefer if quarterbacks score a 20 or higher. Last year Ryan Nassib of Syracuse got the highest score with a 41, while Arkansas' Tyler Wilson had the lowest with 20. Neither quarterback appeared in an NFL game in their rookie year. First-year starters E.J. Manuel, Mike Glennon and Geno Smith had scores of 28, 26 and 24, respectively.
Out of current active quarterbacks with known scores, Ryan Fitzpatrick had the highest Wonderlic score with 48 (makes sense, given his Harvard background). Aaron Rodgers scored a 35, Tony Romo recorded a 37, and Matthew Stafford had a 38. Seems like a logical correlation between successful quarterbacks and high scores, correct? Well, Blaine Gabbert had a higher score than all of them, getting a 42, and Greg McElroy scored a 46, so the jury is still out on that front. At the end of the day, game tape and measurables are still the biggest keys to draft scouting, although the Wonderlic is still a fun little diversion to think about when no actual football is happening.
You can take a sample Wonderlic test at this site.