Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Dear incoming rookies: Don’t take the Wonderlic


Mature man at desk in exam room, elevated view

Getty Images

Last year, we cooked up a hot take regarding the test every kid takes at the Scouting Combine weeks after the Combine happened. This year, we’ll remind the next crop of Combine attendees of the free advice.

Refuse to take the Wonderlic test.

All incoming rookies should refuse to take the Wonderlic not because the results have no relevance to football performance, although the results indeed have no relevance to football performance. All incoming rookies should refuse to take the Wonderlic because the NFL consistently flunks the pass/fail test of keeping the results secret.

Every year, all or some of the numbers are leaked. (PFT no longer attempts to obtain or report the scores.) No matter what the league does, no matter how many threats are made, the numbers get leaked. Often, the numbers are leaked to reporters who are employed by the league itself.

So here’s what we suggest that every player should say when the time comes to take the Wonderlic: “Sorry, sir. I choose not to take the test. You’ve told me that the results are private and confidential, but every year the scores for one or more players are leaked to the media. So the only way to reliably secure my own test result is to not create one.”

There’s not really anything the NFL can say in response to that, because there’s no way the NFL can secure the results. But the NFL will never voluntarily get rid of the test, because NFL teams are obsessed with apples-to-apples factors that can be compared from player to player and from year to year. So the only way the process will change is to have change forced upon the process.

And the only way that will happen as to the Wonderlic test will be for players to refuse to take it.