The Wonderlic test

You don't have to be the sharpest knife in the drawer to play professional football. In fact, it's obvious from their comments that several bona fide NFL standouts are relatively clueless.

Still, the ability to process and retain information is helpful in executing an assignment, so intelligence is at least a minor consideration in a player's makeup. That's why the NFL administers the Wonderlic test to the pro prospects who attend the Combine each year.

The Wonderlic is a 12-minute test featuring 50 questions that grow progressively more difficult. Most players don't answer all 50 during the allotted time, so their scores are charted in terms of both correct answers and total questions answered. For instance, a guy who answers 30 questions and gets 20 correct would have a 20/30 score.

Based on Wonderlic results posted at profootballweekly.com, the former Tennessee Vols invited to the 2009 Combine are of average intelligence when matched against others at their positions.

The exception was projected first-round NFL Draft pick Robert Ayers, who was correct on 25 of the 35 questions he answered. His 25/35 score far surpassed the position average of 19/33 compiled by all defensive ends attending The Combine. By comparison, LSU's Tyson Jackson – another projected first-round draft pick – posted a score of 16/24. Georgia's Jarius Wynn fared even worse, scoring 12/22.

Here's how the other Vols fared:

- Arian Foster scored 19/25, hitting the same number of correct answers as the running back average of 19/31. Georgia's Knowshon Moreno, rated a Round 1 pick, scored just 13/24. Alabama's Glen Coffee, meanwhile, checked in at 27/33.

- Anthony Parker scored 23/35, hitting the same number of correct answers as the Combine average for guards of 23/37.

- Ramon Foster scored 20/25, slightly below the Combine average for tackles of 22/36. He still did better than fellow SEC tackles Michael Oher of Ole Miss (19/46) and Andre Smith of Alabama (17/50).

- Britton Colquitt scored 22/37, a shade below the Combine average for punters of 23/37.

- Demonte Bolden scored 18/33, hitting the Combine average for defensive tackles on the nose for both correct answers and total questions answered. Interestingly enough, PFW.com reports that Bolden took the Wonderlic test once prior to the Combine, scoring a mere 5/27.

Bolden's Combine score beat every other SEC defensive tackle in attendance – Marlon Favorite (15/50) and Ricky Jean-Francois (12/38) of LSU, Corvey Irvin of Georgia (13/29), Peria Jerry of Ole Miss (10/23), Sen'Derrick Marks of Auburn (12/50) and Myron Pryor of Kentucky (14/31).

Because quarterbacks must deal with a bigger mental workload than other position players, their Wonderlic scores probably get more scrutiny from NFL scouts. For what it's worth, Georgia's Matthew Stafford had the second-best Wonderlic score among Combine QBs, posting a 35/45. Only Mike Reilly (Central Washington) did better. Alabama's John Parker Wilson scored a 30/50, which tied for fourth-best among quarterbacks.


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