NFL to introduce new aptitude test at Scouting Combine this weekend

Morris Claiborne reportedly got a 4 on the Wonderlic. Seriously. - Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The oft-criticized Wonderlic Test is going to receive a companion piece at the Scouting Combine this year, as teams look for new ways to categorize and evaluate their latest investments.

The Wonderlic exam. Originating as an intelligence test in the '70s by Tom Landry, it has been used as a general indicator of the intelligence of potential draftees during the NFL scouting combine. Varied stories

The logic of using a 50 question multiple choice exam that is administered in 12 minutes to judge the intelligence of players has often come upon a lot of criticism, and finally, the NFL is adding an extra step to help further evaluate those individuals who represent the future of their organization. (Check out how you might do on the Wonderlic here.)

In a memo, the NFL outlines the new assessment, with an excerpt below (Read the full memo here at

The assessment tool being introduced at the Combine is not intended to displace anything currently in use or substitute for other tests that are given either at the Combine or by the clubs themselves. Rather, this new test measures a wide range of competencies, including learning styles, motivation, decision-making skills, responding to pressure or unexpected stimuli, and core intellect

Steve Wyche at has further details about the exam:

  • Administered in a classroom environment
  • 60-minute exam
  • "No way" to study or prepare
  • Test results shared with one or two team executives
  • Each team will receive a page of "coaching points" to help suggest how best to work with an individual, and whether that person will fit in with the team's coaching staff

It is very interesting to see the NFL, in a day and age where we are reevaluating how learning takes place all over, are realizing and recognizing that they need to re-evaluate their methods. Particularly when we see that studies have shown that general mental ability has no real effect on future football performance. (Read: You can be dumb as a box of rocks and still be a damn good football player.)

Will it work? It's hard to say, but the extra data likely won't hurt. It may just help avoid the Titus Youngs of the future, too.

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