With the start of the NFL season just a calendar’s page turn away, what better way to get you excited for the most glorious 17 weeks of the year than a look a some of the, how do you say, poorest Wonderlic Test takes to play the game.
OK. OK. Wonderlic test scores don’t necessarily mean anything. The examination is merely an ingredient in the stew that bears each potential prospects name.
The Wonderlic Personnel Test, according to our friend Wikipedia, “is a popular group intelligence test used to assess the aptitude of prospective employees for learning and problem-solving in a range of occupations.” Participants must answer 50 questions within the 12 minutes allotted. Thus, “50” is a perfect (albeit exceedingly rare) score.
His Wonderlic score was also off the charts. https://t.co/bK8Qrpz5QL
— Colin J. Liotta (@thesportshero) August 22, 2017
The difference between, scoring, say, a 50 and a 10, will tell you something about a player’s cognitive abilities, certainly. But the difference between a 42 and a 35? Probably not so much. For what it’s worth, a score of 10 qualifies as “literate.”
It’s also worth noting that players who have scored pathetically on the Wonderlic have gone on to Hall of Fame careers. Consider Dan Marino, who scored just 15. Terry Bradshaw: 16.
Mike Mamula, a linebacker for the Eagles in the mid-90s, recorded the highest Wonderlic score: 49.
With the context of the Wonderlic and all its associated silliness established, let’s take a look at the 10 lowest scores since the NFL began administering the test.
Chris Leak: 8
5’11’’ Chris Leak didn’t have traditional NFL quarterback height. Nor did he have traditional QB intelligence. Not surprisingly, the 2006 National Championship winner at the helm of the Florida Gators didn’t pan out in the pros. Nor did he pan out in the CFL. Nor the arena league, for that matter.
Terrelle Pryor: 7
Another college standout, Terrelle Pryor reportedly took the Wonderlic twice, somehow. He claims to have scored a 22, but his first reported score was a lowly seven, and that’s what we’re going with. After an unimpressive stint trying to land the starting job with the Oakland Raiders from 2011 through 2013. A 6’5, 240-pound 4.3-runner, Pryor remade himself into a wide receiver, however, in 2015 and is a legitimate threat at that position, which he now plays for the Washington Redskins.
Kelvin Benjamin: 7
Kelvin Benjamin has had two solid years catching the ball for the Carolina Panthers and one lost season (2015), thanks to a torn ACL in an August practice. Hopefully, he spent that time doing some cognitive exercises or working with a tutor, because seven on the Wonderlic is damn low. Hopefully Cam Newton isn’t running a complicated offense…
Frank Gore: 6
Long-serving running back Frank Gore is known for his bruising, aggressive style of running. Given his preference for taking defenders head on, he’s likely to be at the front of the CTE line in retirement. This is troubling for two reasons: Brain injuries are terrible, and he doesn’t have much brain to lose.
Vince Young: 6
VY, a college standout at Texas, this take-over-the-game type of QB laid an absolute egg with his Wonderlic, accumulating just six points. He retook the test…and got a 14. Lack of sense, as much as intelligence, plagued Young, whose poor attitude and work ethic ultimately saw him wash out of his gig with the Titans in four years and only start three NFL games for the Philadelphia Eagles before exiting the league.
Oscar Davenport: 6
Looked at as a developmental prospect out of college, Davenport was a big guy with a big arm. Unfortunately, his Wonderlic performance ensured he’d never make a roster, and whatever potential he had, remains forever a mystery. Unfortunately, as a Google search reveals, he lives on in football history primarily because of his poor Wonderlic score
Edward ‘Pig’ Prather: 5
“Pig” Prather actually does a disservice to that barnyard beast with his nickname. Pigs are one of the top-five smartest mammals. Pig Prather scored five points on his Wonderlic test. Prather was a poor safety who couldn’t understand the complexities of the game, which his test score certainly foreshadowed.
Darren Davis: 4
Darren Davis’ inglorious four on the Wonderlic in 2000 certainly contributed to the Iowa State running back going undrafted. He played well in Canada for three years, however. A strong sting carrying the rock for the Saskatchewan Roughriders didn’t get him back on the NFL radar. Thanks, Wonderlic.
Morris Claiborne: 4
In a sense, it’s really not fair to hammer Morris Claiborne for his four on the Wonderlic. Claiborne was later identified as having a learning disability. However, it’s insane to think he made it through high school and college while unable to really read. That said, there have to be more players on this list than the Dallas Cowboys/New York Jets corner who could be classified as having a learning disability.