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Stray Arrows: Why I Like The Wonderlic

Most of you will probably remember how much I wrote about the Wonderlic and its value heading up to the draft. Mostly, I used the Wonderlic to argue against us picking Ryan Clady, who scored a paltry 13 on the test; and for us picking Chris Williams, who scored a 32 (Branden Albert scored a 23). Luckily, Clady’s a Denver Bronco. I took some heat for putting so much stock in the Wonderlic, but I feel like it is a great way to assess a player’s ability to think critically under fire. Especially offensive lineman and quarterbacks.

Well, now author/blogger Ben Fry has come out with a kickass blog post which totally backs that point of view. From Ben Fry’s blog:

Wonderlic himself says that basically, the scores decrease as you move further away from the ball, which is interesting but unsurprising. It’s sort of obvious that a quarterback needs to be on the smarter side, but I was curious to see what this actually looked like.

Offense is shown in blue, defense in red. You can see the quarterback with a 24, the center (over 6 feet and around 300 lbs.) averaging higher at 25, and the outside linemen even a little higher. Presumably this is because the outside linemen need to mentally quick (as well as tough) to read the defense and respond to it. Those are the wide receivers (idiot loud mouths) with the 17s on the outside.

More evidence for the Wonderlic:

I’ll also happily point out that the linemen for the Patriots all score above average for their position:

Fascinating stuff and pretty unrefutable evidence in favor of the old Wonderlic.

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