We all know the value (or lack of value) of the Wonderlik, having had expereince with the incontrovertible genius of our own Alex Smith. Wonderlik smart, but when it comes to raw football instincts, well, I guess they haven't created a test for that yet, other than the one during the game, with bodies flying around like one ton frisbees.
However, today's post isn't really about my multi-year anti-crush on Alex ("Go to whatever team that will take you, but just go,") Smith. Today's post asks a question I am having a interesing time debating within myself:
In terms of what value a high Wondlerlik score has on a player's ability to play great football? Not much.
But what about getting a low score?
Does a low score indicate that when it comes to the complexities of the NFL and learning all the nuances that must be learned you are going to be a bust, or only an average player at best? Certainly there are positions where low scores matter less. But what about QB, and safety? And what about CB?
CB is a poition that takes most college players a few years to learn in the NFL because it's not just man to man most of the time. In fact, just the opposite, most of the time you're in a scheme, disguising coverage. The Patriots are a good example of that. And the Packers. Certainly that's the direction our new defense is headed.
This brings me to my key topic point: Our favorite CB, the one that we hope is there at 7, scored very low on the Wonderlik.
Patrick Peterson was one of ony four college prospects who recorded a dreaded single-digit score, which most NFL scouts and GMs often equate with getting their name right, or being able to tie their own shoes.
There are advisors out there that help goose the test scores for their clients. For example, Prince Amukamara, who registered the top score for a cornerback (35), improved by 21 points from the 14 test score he recorded last fall. (Teams that have interviewed him have said the 14 score is a closer indicator of his intelligence.)
So right there, it seems to me, the test scores can easily become skewed (kind of like studying for the SATs before you take the test).
But if you can be taught to score higher on the Wonderlik by being coached, is that an indication you can also be taught football by a coach in the NFL? Or is the first score is the true indicator?
For sure, we know how much value to put on the high scores, right Alex? By the way, for what it's worth, Christian Ponder scored high (35), as did Greg McElroy (45).Both very high.
But what about the low scores? Does that make you shy away from taking a Patrick Peterson at 7? Or an AJ Green who also scored extremely low? WR is a tough mentally challenging position, especially in the WCO.
How much emphasis do you think Balkee should put on low scoring Wonderlik prospects? Do you ignore their apparent learning difficulties even when you know your coaches are going to institute a complex system on both offense and defense? (You can do that at Stanford. But in the NFL, with kids that would fail if they ever went to a class? Or, do the very low scoring draftees drop down, or off your draft board altogether?
And what about those who re-take the test after being tutored and then score much higher? Or those who re-take it after being tutored and don't score higher?
Does that tell you anything about the kind of football potential they have?
Personally, I do think a low score is something to factor in to your draft pick, especially on a cerebral team like ours will be. Whereas a high score is not particularly more impressive to me than a middle score.
But then where does that leave us at number 7? Gabbert if he's there? What was Von Miller's Wonderlik? Or does it matter as much when you're a mad dog pass rusher?
Where does the Wonderlik factor in for you? And does anyone have any stats regarding past years' low scoring players and how they've done as a group vs those who didn't score low?