Los Angeles Chargers and the Wonderlic test
By Travis Wakeman
During the annual NFL scouting combine, prospects are evaluated on a number of physical drills. But the one test that is rarely talked about and often overlooked is the Wonderlic.
The Wonderlic is a personal aptitude test given to every prospect at the combine. It’s similar to the kind of intelligence test given prior to gaining employment at many jobs across the country but unlike those jobs, passing the Wonderlic isn’t contingent upon employment in the NFL.
NFL general managers are just looking to get more insight into the players they’re considering drafting. Prospects are dissected in as many ways as possible, but even getting a low score — say one in the single digits — won’t necessarily move you too far down the draft board.
Players take the test and are given a score between 1 and 50. Pat McInally, a former punter and wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, is the only player ever known to record a perfect score.
Recently, I spoke with Michael Hall, who manages the website Wonderlic Test Sample. There, he has compiled a massive list of Wonderlic test scores, which includes several current and former members of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Here are some notable Wonderlic scores for Chargers players.
Joey Bosa- 37
Philip Rivers- 30
Drew Brees- 28
Ryan Leaf- 27
Geno Smith- 24
Melvin Gordon- 20
Keenan Allen- 19
Melvin Ingram- 18
Mike Williams- 17
Jason Verrett- 17
It’s interesting that the highest (Bosa) and the lowest (Verrett and Williams) were all first-round picks. There’s a 20-point discrepancy between their test scores, so one can certainly ask just how important these test scores really are.
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When looking up information concerning the Wonderlic test on its Wikipedia page, it notes that teams generally want a score of at least 21 from a quarterback. But would they draft them even if they scored lower? Probably.
Looking at the list, you’ll find several quarterbacks with lower scores than 21 that still did well for themselves, including a score of 16 for Dan Marino.
The Wonderlic test has been used by the United States military and the NFL has used it since 1968. It’s probably not going anywhere. Created by E.F. Wonderlic in 1936, only two to five percent of people are expected to complete the test in the 12-minute time limit, according to Wonderlic.
So after reading all of this, you want your shot at it, right? Well here’s your shot.
From now until the end of this year’s draft, Wonderlic Test Sample is offering a $200 gift card to NFL.com to the person who can get the highest score on the test at this link. Can you get a higher score than Bosa? How do you stack up against the rest of the NFL players and prospects?
Win the contest and go out and buy all that Chargers gear you’ve been wanting.