Tua Tagovailoa Rumors: 'Some Teams' Concerned About QB's 13 Wonderlic Score

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2020

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 9:   Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up before a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Starkville, Mississippi.  The Crimson Tide defeated the Bulldogs 38-7.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa reportedly recorded a 13 on the Wonderlic test that was the lowest score by any quarterback in the 2020 NFL draft class.

Bob McGinn of The Athletic reported the update Friday and noted "some teams are more concerned than others" about the test result.

"We interviewed him. He's smart enough, but he's an RPO guy," an NFL scout told McGinn, referring to a run-pass option. "[Alabama offensive coordinator Steve] Sarkisian tried to do pro stuff, and [Tagovailoa] couldn't handle it mentally because all he'd ever done was RPO stuff. So they went back to RPO."

IQ Test Prep noted the Wonderlic test, which is used to measure cognitive ability, is 50 questions, with one point awarded for each correct answer. An average score is considered to be a 20.

Another scout suggested the 22-year-old Hawaii native already peaked with the Crimson Tide.

"[He] came to Bama so advanced for an 18-year-old kid as far as seeing things and anticipating," he told The Athletic. "But, like so many kids, that's it. Despite the fact that his stats are phenomenal, he was in the candy store of life. I think his best days are behind him."

Tagovailoa completed 69.3 percent of his throws for 7,442 yards with 87 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 32 appearances for Bama. He added 340 rushing yards and nine scores on the ground.

Most of the conversation leading up to the draft, which begins Thursday, has been his recent injury history, not his on-field ability or production. He suffered a high ankle sprain each of the last two years, and his final season ended in November because of hip and nose injuries as well as a concussion.

Not all of the talent evaluators McGinn spoke with relayed a negative perspective, though.

"Just off the pure talent to play the game, he's better than Joe Burrow," a scout said. "He doesn't have an overpowering arm, but he makes all the throws. He's got a quick release. He's got touch, velocity. He's got the feet to avoid. He's got really good eyes. Cool under pressure. Slides through the pocket. Really good play-action guy. He doesn't throw interceptions."

Burrow, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, is the presumptive No. 1 overall pick of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Tagovailoa is a candidate for both the Miami Dolphins (No. 5 pick) and Los Angeles Chargers (No. 6), and even under the worst-case scenario, it's unlikely he slides out of the top 10 given the supply-and-demand issues that exist when it comes to franchise quarterbacks around the NFL.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.