I feel like we could make fun of the Wonderlic test and how ridiculous it is every year. I think we do, which is about the only thing I agree with this article about regarding the Wonderlic.
In case that sentence made you shudder enough to not want to click to read the article, it's a column by Fox Sports' Jen Floyd Engel about how we should blame, yes, the universities for letting these college-turned-NFL football players down.
It is true the cost of college education has skyrocketed to a point where a degree has diminishing returns ... It is also true guys like Austin and Tennessee wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson (Wonderlic: 11) and Justin Hunter (Wonderlic: 12) obviously did not get $200,000 of education. Granted, the test is wrongheaded and has almost nothing to do with one's ability to succeed in the NFL, but a college-educated man should be able to score better than that.
I'll admit, I can't disagree with the point that a college-educated student should be able to score better (to be fair, 50 questions in 12 minutes is a pretty rough affair, regardless of the actual question difficulty - you still need to read and accurately take in the questions).
But as is everything with the combine, it's more than the final number - it's how you got there. In this case, how quickly can you process what you see and react/find the right answer - or, to apply to football, how fast can you read a defense or offense and prepare yourself accordingly.
You would think that a columnist-since-1997 would be able to make that distinction, especially when it comes to questions that, with no time limit, a middle-schooler should be able to handle. For example, college didn't teach me how to multiply twenty-one cents times four. It didn't teach me how to identify two exact same sequences of letters. It didn't teach me 0.33 is smaller than 0.8. (Then they throw you a fun curveball with Q10 - let me know if you beat 40 seconds on that one.)
There are a lot of things to blame for low Wonderlic scores - I'd list probably the player and his attitude towards it first:
As Cowboys first-round draft pick Morris Claiborne (Wonderlic: 4) noted a year ago: "I came to the combine for football. I looked at the test, and wasn't any questions about football. I didn't see no point in the test. I'm not in school anymore. I didn't complete it."
The college that player went to is not one of those things.