Companies sometimes use pre-employment tests to determine a candidate’s cognitive ability.
The NFL is no different, as the league utilizes the infamous Wonderlic test to assess prospects prior to the NFL draft.
Scores of some of this year’s receiver class were released, and several of the 49ers’ assumed top targets didn’t fare so well.
WR Wonderlic Scores:— First N Goal (@First_N_Goal1) April 15, 2020
Michael Pittman 29
Bryan Edwards 28
Chase Claypool 27
Brandon Aiyuk 23
Henry Ruggs 20
Justin Jefferson 19
Denzel Mims 17
KJ Hamler 15
Laviska Shenault 14
Jalen Reagor 13
Cee Dee Lamb 12
Van Jefferson 12
Tee Higgins 11
Jerry Jeudy 9
as per @BobMcGinn#NFLDraft
Henry Ruggs, who many have linked to San Francisco in recent weeks, lands right on the average Wonderlic score of 20. His former college teammate Jerry Jeudy, the 49ers’ No. 13 pick in NBC Sports Bay Area’s latest mock draft, rounds out the bottom of the group with a nine. Oklahoma product CeeDee Lamb finished with a 12.
Now, Wonderlic scores are far from an exact science when it comes to predicting success in the NFL. Players with the five-highest scores in league history have a combined one Pro Bowl appearance.
Meanwhile, NFL stalwarts like former 49ers running back Frank Gore (six), Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green (10), and Hall of Famer Randy Moss (12) put together phenomenal careers in spite of well below-average scores.
Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy scored a 9 on his Wonderlic test...— John Kazar 🕙 (@KazarNFL) April 16, 2020
Larry Fitzgerald - 18
Emmanuel Sanders - 18
Dez Bryant - 16
Julio Jones - 15
Reggie Wayne - 13
Randy Moss - 12
AJ Green - 10
How meaningful that number is highly up for debate, especially for receivers.
Some of the 49ers’ recent draft picks have scored very highly on the test, however.
So in 2018, Mike McGlinchey had the highest wonderlic score for an OT, Dante Pettis led WRs and Fred Warner was second among LBs.— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) April 16, 2020
In the 2020 Draft for WRs, Ruggs scored a 20, Lamb scored a 11 and Jeudy scored a 9. Not sure what it all means. https://t.co/LrYAJYz6TU
It’s no secret that you don’t need an Ivy League education to have an elite NFL career. While mental capability is an important part of an NFL player’s evaluation, there are numerous other factors that come into play.