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2013 NFL Combine: League Adds Test to Pair With Wonderlic

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Albert Breer notes a new component of the Combine.

The combine's testing has been tweaked over the years, and a significant adaptation is coming. The league plans to implement a second aptitude test to the itinerary for players this week, according to National Football Scouting president Jeff Foster.


Foster said the test is not a replacement for, but rather a counterpart to, the much-criticized Wonderlic test. The Wonderlic has been used at the combines for decades since its origination as an intelligence test in the 1970s by legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry. The Wonderlic's usefulness and the ethics of relying on it have been sources of debate over the years.

The Wonderlic is a timed multiple choice test that uses questions on math, logic, and other areas. I personally question its value in evaluating players. The kind of intelligence necessary to perform well on a written test at math requires different skills from being intelligent on the field. In addition, many players are poor test takers, and the Wonderlic does not indicate their true intelligence.

Some others think it should be used as an important part of player evaluation.

I think one of the biggest dangers of the Combine is overanalysis. The interviews with players are important. So are the medical tests. The actual activities should be taken within the greater context of what the player has done on the field. The drills and tests should be used to verify how good certain skills a player displayed on film really are. Sometimes you see players jump or fall dramatically because of a Combine test, and it later proves to be unjustified. I feel like another test might just be another way for teams to overanalyze.