NFL Draft: New Intelligence Test At This Year's Combine

Joe Robbins

One of the bigger mysteries at the NFL Combine every season is the administration of the Wonderlic Test. Though the scores are never technically made public, there are always reports of scores being leaked out every year, particularly when a player fails to achieve a score higher than the number on his jersey. (Hey, Vince Young!) The questions on the Wonderlic Test are never made public, either (though you can take a sample version of the Wonderlic right here), and the test has been criticized quite a bit in recent years.

Well, according to the National Football League, a new test will be given at this year's Combine to "supplement" the Wonderlic Test. Here is the wording of the official memo that the league sent out regarding the test.

At this year's combine we will introduce a new and expanded player assessment tool designed to offer a much more robust and comprehensive assessment of a player's non-physical capabilities, aptitudes, and strengths. This tool was developed by Harold Goldstein, Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Baruch College, City University of NY. Professor Goldstein is an expert in industrial psychology who has designed employment tests in a variety of other industries and has worked closely with Cyrus Mehri of the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

The assessment tool being introduced at the Combine is not intended to displace anything currently in use or substitute for other tests that are given either at the Combine or by the clubs themselves. Rather, this new test measures a wide range of competencies, including learning styles, motivation, decision-making skills, responding to pressure or unexpected stimuli, and core intellect. It was developed after detailed discussions with current and former league executives, including Ernie Accorsi, Thomas Dimitroff, John Elway, and Jerry Reese, and was reviewed by members of the general managers Advisory Committee.

This is an exciting innovation that brings updated best practices from corporate America to the NFL football operations. By giving clubs new and more relevant information, it offers additional information to supplement your decision-making in the draft. One of the most interesting aspects is that new information on player learning styles can potentially help our coaches' work more effectively with young players.

Anything that the league can do to attempt to give teams a better idea of how the players they'll be drafting tick is a good thing, in my opinion. There aren't many details about how the new test is going to be administered, either, but hopefully more details will leak out after it's given for the first time.

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