Three individuals form a partnership and agree to divide the profits equally. X invests $9,000, Y invests $7,000, Z invests $4,000. If the profits are $4,800, how much less does X receive than if the profits were divided in proportion to the amount invested?
It's almost NFL Combine time, which means we will again get to debate why we consider questions like the one above to be relevant to the the success of future NFL players. The Wonderlic test was established in 1936 by E.F. Wonderlic and has been used for decades to assess and measure a variety of skills in math, vocabulary, and reasoning. It is used to determine potential job placement in a number of positions, including future NFL players. The test was brought to the NFL by legendary Cowboys coach Tom Landry as part of his evaluation process and because of his coaching success, was adopted by other teams. The Wonderlic is one of the more bizarre inputs into player evaluation. The test consists of 50 multiple choice questions that must be answered in a 12-minute time limit. A score of 20 (equivalent to an IQ of 100) on the Wonderlic suggests average intelligence. The average score differs though for positions in the NFL, with tackles and centers scoring the highest average at around 25-26 and the lowest average score being running backs at 16-17. For comparison, the average Wonderlic scores for a sales position are around 24.
The question of whether the test is a valuable input into determining future performance has been studied academically. One study showed that the only positions with any statistically significant correlation with their performance in the NFL and the Wonderlic score were tight end and cornerback, however this was a negative correlation, that is a higher test score was actually correlated to a lower performance as an NFL player. There is also no shortage of examples that show that the test may not be the greatest predictor, Ryan Fitzpatrick had one the highest scores ever at 48 but is a turnover machine with limited arm strength, Johnny Manziel was the highest scoring QB at last year's combine and then promptly put up two of the worst QB starts in history. Sources inside the NFL have stated that it can actually hurt your draft stock if you score too high with coaches being worried about players being too intelligent, meaning they won't accept authority figures. Similarly as you will see from the following list, there are plenty of NFL stars who didn't fair so well in the test. The scores from the test are intended to remain secret, although many have leaked. This list is some of the lowest scores from some very prominent NFL players. These 10 lowest scores will show why the effectiveness of the Wonderlic is questioned.
11 Terry Bradshaw, QB - Score: 16
10 Dan Marino, QB - Score: 15
9 T-8. Jeff George, QB - Score: 10
Jeff George was the first overall pick in the 1990 draft and had an inconsistent and largely disappointing career. While George did put up nice seasons with both Atlanta and Minnesota, both with a QB rating over 90, he never reached the potential that his legendarily strong arm had afforded him. George would still go on to have a solid 12-year career reaching the playoffs multiple times with different teams as the starting quarterback.
8 T-8. A.J. Green, WR - Score: 10
7 Sebastian Janikowski, PK- Score: 9
Somebody should give the intelligence test to the Raiders management that used a 17th overall selection (that's right - in the 1st round) to select a place kicker. One of the few times where it would be have be a good decision for a team to use the Wonderlic as a reason not to draft a player.
6 Patrick Peterson, CB - Score: 9
5 Tavon Austin, WR - Score - 7
Tavon Austin has had an up and down start to his career, showing flashes of the speed and quickness that made him the 8th pick in the 2013 draft. The Rams drafted Austin to be a multi-purpose weapon that could help Sam Bradford develop. His electrifying kick return ability has remained as he made the Pro Bowl this season for his efforts. He continues to develop as a receiver although his yardage total has regressed since his rookie season.
4 Kelvin Benjamin WR- Score: 7
3 Vince Young, QB - Score: 6
After one of the most impressive victories in college football history, the Titans took Vince Young 3rd overall in the NFL draft. Young had one of the more unique careers in recent NFL history, peaking very early while fading out of the league right as he approached what should have been his prime. Young managed to win Offensive Rookie of the Year leading the Titans on numerous dramatic game winning drives and also Comeback Player of the Year just two seasons later. Young was selected to two Pro Bowls early in his career and looked poised for a long career.
2 Frank Gore, RB- Score: 6
1 Morris Claiborne, CB - Score: 4
The Dallas Cowboys dismissed Morris Clairborne's low score when they traded up in the 2012 draft to select him 6th overall. The young cornerback from LSU has shown flashes but has largely struggled early in his career and missed most of this season due to injury. Clairborne quite famously declared his disdain for the test after opening it and not seeing any questions about football. Clairborne also struggled with a learning disability that may make these type of tests difficult and reportedly only answers a few of the questions. There's still time left for Clairborne to rejuvenate his young career but so far he's looked like a bust.
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