As a gentleman and a scholar myself, my favorite part of the NFL draft season is the inevitable leaking of the Wonderlic results and subsequent hot takes that come from sports prognosticators across the country. If you’re one of the people who calls out others for “Wonderlic shaming”, congrats on being a total loser. Of course it’s funny when a star player scores lower than your average janitor on a test of intelligence. One of my biggest pet peeves is the over-sensitive nature of society these days. People seemingly compete to see who can be the most offended about certain things, but that’s a topic for another blog. Anyways, Tua Tagovailoa reportedly scored a 13, which as you can see below isn’t exactly Mensa material.
There’s really no point for giving the test anymore. Players don’t take it seriously, and it’s just a “huge waste of time and money,” according to Louisville business school professor Frank Kuzmits. Does this low score mean that Tua is going to flame out in the NFL? Hell no. There’s no definitive evidence that there’s any link between Wonderlic performance and NFL quarterback success. This was best evidenced last year – you can ask Lamar Jackson and his unanimous MVP award if he cares that he also scored 13 on the test. If I’m an NFL GM, I care more about my QB’s ability to execute the read option than their opinion on the motifs of Lord of the Flies. This next graph really sums it up as far as quarterbacks go.
Hey Siri, define “zero correlation”. You may be wondering what the Wonderlic tells us with regards to other elite skill position players. Well, two things: (1) your preconceived opinion of the education quality of the SEC West is probably accurate and (2) failing to differentiate between a brick and a hammer does not affect one’s ability to catch a football. Let’s check on Tua’s best set of hands, future first round pick and 2018 Biletnikoff winner Jerry Jeudy.
Gotta be the best nickname in this class, no? Unfortunately for Jeu, he put up a poor performance on the big day, failing to crack double digits and scoring a 9 in an effort similar to his game against Auburn this past year. Luckily for him, there are no prerequisites for beating a corner off the line, so I think he’ll have a fine career.
This may seem like a very condescending look on football players, and I think that’s fair, but none of the players who scored highly move the needle one iota. I’ll give Nate Stanley, Jake Fromm, and Joe Burrow credit for scoring 40, 35, and 34 respectively, but it’s hard for me to get worked up about any of those scores. Sue me, but I think it’s funnier to discuss the bottom of the barrel in this domain.
What do you think you’d score on the Wonderlic? Let me know @jziller17. I’d obviously post a 50.