The least important, most overhyped and phonetically misleading word in sports is looming on the horizon, just awaiting its chance to pop up right in time for this NFL combine.
Say hello to the much-needed and practical Wonderlic test.
This exam, given to all NFL prospects at the combine, is a simple measuring stick of a player’s general intelligence. The exam asks 50 questions over a 12-minute time span. Correct answers reflect a test score. Therefore, the maximum a player could score would be a 50.
Sadly, the combined total of these 10 proceeding gentlemen just makes it over 50 collectively.
These are 10 of the worst scorers on the NFL’s much criticized Wonderlic test, and it is my honor to share them with you today in all their infamous pride and glory.
Texas Longhorn fans will always love Vince Young for what he did on a cool, January night in Pasadena, California, against the USC Trojans in 2005.
Young threw for over 200 yards while also racking up 200 yards rushing to win the national championship at the Rose Bowl.
Then came the NFL combine and the first loud “dunk” score in some years. Young, like Davenport, reportedly dropped a hot six on his Wonderlic test, causing scouts to question his intelligence.
However, that score was apparently false. Young took the test a second time and received a 16 on a retake of the exam.
Was this low score of any future successes he may have with the league? I’m not sure, just ask Jeff Fischer and the Tennessee Titans.
Even though his numbers weren’t outstanding when taking the Wonderlic test, he has an advantage over most NFL players today in the one department that matters most—Super Bowl wins.
Nicks, a dominant receiver on any NFL club, had a huge weight taken off his shoulders with the emergence of Victor Cruz.
Cruz opens up Nicks’ skills even more by taking pressure off of him.
Trust me, Nicks will be just fine going down the road he’s on. Screw test results.
Former Illinois fighting Illini signal-caller Jeff George bounced around between four NFL teams in just over a decade working for the shield.
After being drafted by his hometown Indianapolis, the Colts dumped him off after just four seasons.
The former first overall draft pick didn’t get too comfortable in Atlanta, when he got the boot in just three years. A quick stint with the Vikings and two years with the Redskins later, George is retired and out of football.
His Wonderlic score represents how well he met his expectations of being a standout, franchise quarterback—poorly.
Two years is all that Michael Bishop would last in the National Football League. The Patriots employed him for the 1999 and 2000 seasons. That would be it.
With all due respect to Bishop, he was a seventh-round draft pick from Kansas State. What did you expect? His NFL tenure wasn’t very long before he went to the Arena Football League, NFL Europe, etc.
Did Bishop’s “perfect 10” reflect his NFL career? No, but remember the expectations of a seventh-round pick who attempted nine total passes in the league.
What else can be said?
When Fred Jackson went down for the surprisingly hot-starting Buffalo Bills last season, the year looked lost without a player who could’ve been a candidate for league MVP had he stayed healthy.
Enter C.J. Spiller.
Spiller has never flourished with the opportunity to start for a team in the NFL, but he did fill in nicely when called upon late by the Bills to carry Jackson’s workload.
Unless Spiller gets a chance to shine as a premier back in the league, don’t hold your breath on his bust being displayed in Canton, OH anytime soon.
Normally, running backs bomb the Wonderlic test. To say that this was any kind of shocker would be a false statement. It is what it is, but Spiller’s career—nor any other player’s—will be determined on a Wonderlic result.
The late Al Davis said it best—“win baby, win.”
Skeptics were critical of Davis for taking Sebastian Janikowski 17th overall in the 2000 NFL draft from Florida State.
The thought of taking a kicker in a round where the pay scale is so high is preposterous. Who has that much love for a kicker, anyway?
Davis did, and Oakland Raider fans are still happy with the selection just because of the x-factor he brings to special teams.
If the game is on the line with a 65-yard field goal try, don’t be shocked to see a white and black No. 11 jersey trot onto the field.
Phenomenal player; crap test taker.
Remember this guy, Florida fans?
The once high-sung college QB stud that led the Gators to the school’s second national title was really on the team for decoration. He was an accurate and precise passer, but he was never a dominant force on offense. That’s the fate for most college quarterbacks in spread and option offenses.
Leak was signed by the Chicago Bears to the team’s practice squad after going undrafted in 2007 (though this Wonderlic score was from a test he took the previous year). The fourth-year quarterback from a national title winning SEC school went through over 250 selections and didn’t hear his name called.
What’s worse: not being drafted after a successful college career or winding up as a potential panel in the never-ending Bears quarterback revolving door that didn’t stop until 2009? You tell me.
There’s a reason the national media made sure to mention that when Houston Texans third-string quarterback T.J. Yates from UNC started a game this season because of injury that he was the first Tar Heel to do so in an NFL game.
Guys like Oscar Davenport are the reason why that factoid held true.
Davenport’s sexy score of six didn’t woo over any scouts, nor did the fact his college career never equated to anything to brag over. He was red flagged as a project quarterback, and teams decided it best not to take a chance on him.
Davenport wasn’t drafted and never joined the league.
The former Mississippi State safety looked to be NFL-bound when his college career came to be a memory. His stats were nice, but he received criticism for some of the mental decisions he made on the field of play.
Prather’s judgment calls, combined with the 10 percent he got on the Wonderlic exam, ultimately cost him an NFL chance. Pig never made it into the league.
That pig would be slaughtered and drenched in barbecue sauce. It would have been an ugly sight to see.
To this day, no one has embraced the title of “Wonderlic dunce” quite like former Iowa State running back Darren Davis has.
What appeared to be a very promising and statistically eye-popping college career quickly flatlined when no team elected to take a shot at him in the NFL draft near the turn of the millennium.
Darren, the brother of former New Orleans Saint Troy Davis, elected to earn a living playing with the Canadian Football League on a squad with his sibling. His mild success wasn’t enough to spark the attention of NFL scouts again, and his football days dried up like an empty well.
The lesson learned from the Darren Davis story?
Don’t play your college ball at Iowa State. The end.