Wondering about Wonderlic?

Wondering about Wonderlic?
April 20, 2013, 12:00 pm
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When it comes time for the Ravens to make their selections in the NFL Draft, they will weigh lots of factors — game performances, Scouting Combine numbers, interview responses, character reports. One thing that they and the rest of the NFL apparently won’t pay much attention to, though, are Wonderlic scores.

At this point, it seems the Wonderlic — a kind of IQ test — exists in the combine only so the scores can be leaked and the media can tsk-tsk over how low an athlete scored after spending four or more years in college. But these scores don’t deter any team from making a talented football player into a top draft pick or even prevent him from having a productive NFL career. (Ray Lewis, for one, reportedly had a low Wonderlic number coming out of Miami.)

Among those whose names are attached to low Wonderlic scores this time around is Tavon Austin, the dynamic West Virginia wide receiver from Baltimore’s Dunbar High. But he’ll still be gone way before the Ravens make their selection at the end of the first round.

Here’s the thing — or one of the things — about this test: Do the athletes even take it seriously? Morris Claiborne, a first-round pick by the Cowboys last year, said this about the Wonderlic: “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.”

Whether football players take advantage of the free educations they can receive with their college scholarships is another matter. Yes, of course, they should. It will only help them down the line when they’re done playing the sport. But that has little to do with the NFL Draft. So just toss the Wonderlic already.