Johnny Manziel scored higher on the Wonderlic Test — a pre-draft general intelligence test given to NFL draftees — than any other top quarterback prospect.
His reported score of 32 is even higher than Peyton Manning’s score.
In his column this morning, SI’s Peter King said that the score helped confirm Manziel’s ability to digest a complicated offence.
The problem with this conclusion is that the Wonderlic has no correlation with success in the NFL.
It’s meaningless, at least when it comes to predicting how good a player will be, according to social scientists.
The Wonderlic Test is a 12-minute exam with 50 multiple choice questions that tests general knowledge and analytical skills.
A sample question:
Assume the first two statements are true. Is the final one: 1.) True 2.) False 3.) Not certain
Tom greeted Beth. Beth greeted Dawn. Tom did not greet Dawn.
It’s used in a variety of industries. The average person gets a 21.
In a 2009 study led by Brian D. Lyons at Fresno State, researchers looked at the link between scoring high on the Wonderlic and succeeding in the NFL.
Their hypothesis was that the two would be strongly correlated.
That was not the case.
Using 762 players drafted between 2002 and 2004, Lyons and his colleagues found no relationship between the Wonderlic and performance on the field. In fact, players who scored lower on the Wonderlic actually turned out to be a tiny bit better, on average, than those who got high scores.
“Empirical research has supported the validity of [Wonderlic score] as a predictor of job performance in traditional employment settings. However, the results from this study suggest that in the context of professional football [Wonderlic scores] (a) possessed a near-zero relationship with performance across positions and had an occasional significant negative relationship with performance by position, (b) did not differently predict performance by race, and (c) was unrelated to the selection in the NFL Draft or the numbers of games started during an NFL season.”
The Wonderlic doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t tell you how good Manziel will be. It doesn’t give you some clue into his ability to memorize an NFL playbook. It’s noise.
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