One of the tests given to NFL Combine invitees is called the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test. A new version was released in 2007 called the Wonderlic Contemporary Cognitive Ability Test.
This test seems to be fairly math intensive and something that you can prepare for by solving a lot of math word problems, but some deductive reasoning is added into the questions as well.
The test consists of 50 questions. Your score indicates how many you answered correctly. You can take the test yourself online for free at the link provided below the photo. My casual 1st attempt yielded this-->
My score of 15 also puts me in the company of Michael Crabtree and Dan Marino. Anyway, being a young well-rested, well-practiced, math-minded and prepared college student is certainly helpful. So here are some interesting facts about Wonderlic scores of NFL players both past & present.
Blaine Gabbert put in the 4th best score by a QB in NFL Combine history. The first number is the score. A minimum score of 10 is considered ‘literate’.
48 – Ryan Fitzpatrick (2005)
43 – Greg McElroy (2011)
43 – Jason Maas (1999)
42 – Blaine Gabbert (2011)
41 – Kevin Barnes (2009)
40 – Darrell Hackney (2006)
40 – Alex Smith (2005)
39 – Todd Husak (2000)
39 – Aaron Rodgers (2005)
39 – Eli Manning (2004)
38 – Matthew Stafford (2009)
38 – Matt Flynn (2008)
38 – Omar Jacobs (2006)
38 – Craig Krenzel (2004)
38 – Charlie Frye (2005)
It’s little wonder then, that with the right training, Alex Smith has become an excellent QB. Blaine Gabbert surely ought to benefit similarly.
Colin Kaepernick scored a 37 which puts him right up there (higher than Brady, Brees, Matt Ryan…and much higher than Flacco & Newton). Kap is tied with Andrew Luck & Tony Romo.
Dan Marino only scored a 16, but I can only guess he didn’t take it serious, as he seems to be fairly intelligent. Slow thinkers don't do that well on talk TV.
Peyton Manning – 28 and everybody says he’s the smartest person on any football field. Go figure.
Brett Favre – 22 that sounds about right.
Michael Crabtree – 15 well, he’s got Percy Harvin (12) toasted.
Richard Sherman – 24 hmmm, Mr. 4.1 GPA musta been having a bad brain day.
Donnovan McNabb – 14 dumber than the avg receiver
Ray Lewis – 13 but that was before he got tight with the Lord I think.
Hakeem Nicks – 11 glad we missed out on him.
Jeff George – 10 Ouch! for a QB that’s really bad.
Vince Young – 6 then 14 Oh dear!
Frank Gore – 6 Well, Running backs usually don’t do so well
Adrian Peterson – 16 Genius for an RB
Pat McInally – 50 PERFECT SCORE! The only perfect score in the history of the test. Don’t mess with the punter!
Patrick Peterson – 9 but one of the best cover guys out there.
Chris Culliver - 9 hey, if he's as sharp as Patrick Peterson, he must be good!
Chris Cook - 23 Lookout Richard Sherman!
Russell Wilson - 28 Perhaps not anymore after the beating he took last year.
The thing about not-so-smart cover guys is that they need to play simple man up defense. If you're trying to do anything complex, like disguising coverages and switching between man and zone etc., the mentally slow CB is going to have trouble. It's important to keep in mind that the Wonderlic Test has a time limit, so it doesn't measure how intelligent you are so much as how fast you are at thinking intelligently.
In the RB department, we aren't looking too sharp.
Frank Gore - 6
Kendall Hunter - 9
Marcus Lattimore - 18 He's the FUTURE!
Some other 49ers of late:
Vance McDonald - 30 You don't want Mjölnir (Thor's hammer) being swung about by just any old fool do ya?
Eric Reid - 29 Kind figured he was smart didn't ya?
Some other 49ers of old:
Steve Young - 33 No surprise here.
Joe Montana - ?? This data is locked in a secret vault, 16,000 feet beneath a Montana mountain until the year 4949, but rumor has it that Montana's score was below the QB avg. Ha! There U go! The Wonderlic is useless :D
I'd say it's also important to remember that the human brain develops in response to stimulation. Some people are going to develop strongly in certain areas related to hand-eye-body coordination that will make them perform exceptionally in certain athletic sports early in life and this talent will not be measured by a Wonderlic Test. Another factor is that a person may be very good at processing information that they understand quickly but just have trouble performing math calculations. Also they may process on-field situations on a subconscious level and come up with intuitive solutions that outright defy logic, math or playbooks (insert Montana here). I guess the whole thing needs be taken with a grain of salt.