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Should the Giants Avoid Drafting Players Who Aren't Smart?


BleedinBlue
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I was going over the wonderlic scores of this years draft class. Players take the test and are allowed to take it over if they'd like. The average score is "20" out of a possible "50" for all NFL players. A score of "10" is the crossing line between illiterate and literate. According to one article I've read, NFL teams like quarterbacks, offensive lineman, middle linebackers and safeties to score well above average as these positions demand very sharp minds that possess mental quickness and toughness.

 

So with no further ado, in this years crop, the highest score came from OT Godser Cherilus (Boston College) who scored a "50" on his second attempt. In second place, there was a 4-way tie with DE Chris Long, QB Brian Brohm, OG Roy Schuening, and PK Taylor Mehlhaff all scoring "45" on their second attempts. (BTW, the best 1st attempt came from OT Chad Rinehart who scored a 35 - he scored a 42 second time around)

 

Second attempts shouldn't count in my opinion as it is the same test so a player gets to know what's coming and can be better prepared and of course should do better. Of those mentioned above, Godser Cherilus scored "25" in his first attempt, Chris Long "34", Roy Schuening "26", and Taylor Mehlhaff "27".

 

A couple of scores that were downright shameful came from LB Ali Highsmith, who scored a "7" in his first attempt, and then took it again and got a whopping "13". OT Ryan Clady took the test once and came in with a proud "13".

 

Now if a player does worse on his second time around....that should raise some serious eyebrows because it would indicate the player could be a borderline retard......"aarrgh....jest giv me da ball coach....aarrggh...I know wat ta doo".

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As an interesting side note...if anyone is still bothering to read my lengthy posts.....you would think that the smartest players by position would be quarterbacks...but that's not true. Here's an average ranking of the current NFL playes by position:

 

1) Offensive tackle: 26

2) Center: 25

3) Quarterback: 24

4) Offensive guard: 23

5) Tight end: 22

6, 7) Safety and Linebacker: 19

8) Cornerback: 18

9, 10) Wide Reciever and Full back: 17

11) Running back: 16

 

For whatever reason, wiki (and other sources) do not include Defensive linemen, which by my calculations of the current crop average around 20 - 21.

 

To put it in perspective, the average wonderlic score of a chemist is 31, a programmer 29, bank teller 22, a warehouse worker 15, and habitual bloggers 11......(joke there guys, don't scream....bloggers aren't listed)

 

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So.....in this years draft class, the names most commonly thrown around as the potential first round draft pick of the Giants are Dan Conner, Kenny Phillips, Keith Rivers, Jerod Mayo, Antoine Cason, Aquib Talib, Ali Highsmith, Reggie Smith, etc.

 

Here are their scores:

 

LB Dan Conner: did not take wonderlic test

S Kenny Phillips: "16" (did not retake test)

LB Keith Rivers: "16" (did not retake test)

LB Jerod Mayo: "26" (did not retake test)

CB Antoine Cason: "16" / "28"

CB Aquib Talib: did not take wonderlic test

LB Ali Highsmith: "7" / "13"

CB/S Reggie Smith: did not take wonderlic test

 

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I remember when the Giants drafted Adrian Awesome who had incredible athletic ability and matched some of the best numbers of any DE in the combine. But, he scored very low on the wonderlic (something like "11") and it was brought up by the talking heads that the reason Awesome fell down the draftboard as far as he did was because of that low score, which many attributed to his partial deafness. Seems the analysts actually got that call right.....and of course, Awesome never panned out for the Jints.

 

Anyway....my thought is that the Giants should definitely take the wonderlic into consideration. Being able to absorb, digest and understand what the coaches expect....as well as the ability to read a play on the fly and compensate quickly is probably more important than incredible speed and strength. But that's just my belief. Going by the wonderlic makes me want the Giants to pick Godser Cherilus with their first pick or Jerod Mayo. I would like to know how Conner would do on the test if he took it. I do not understand how a team could pick Keith Rivers over Mayo when their combines are nearly identicle, but Mayo blows Rivers away when it comes to brains.

 

So...the question is to those of you who read this: How much weight should the Giants put on the wonderlic score when drafting players?

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While reading this all I could think about was Thomas Lewis not remembering the plays. I wonder what his score was.

 

I don't know how wonderlic scores have historically affected NFL players, but I would think if the kid can play then he can play. Why would things change? If he can't spell his name there might be cause for concern though.

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Dexter Manly...an illiterate player who somehow was able to be a defensive force in the 80's. As in everything I think there are exceptions. Whereas he was a functional illiterate...he was able to follow through and adapt as plays developed. Like all correlative instruments...correlation does not (nor should it be used) to prove causality. Meaning that a smart player = a good player is an example of a correlation that is usually but not always true.

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Like all correlative instruments...correlation does not (nor should it be used) to prove causality. Meaning that a smart player = a good player is an example of a correlation that is usually but not always true.

I agree. But a very athletically gifted player, who is also smart probably equals a better player. Being "smart only", is probably good, but you still have to have the talent to play at the pro level. I think that a very intelligent player with average athletic skills can become a very, very good player and if not for the intelligence, wouldn't have made it as far.

 

On the other hand, I don't think a dumb quarterback can ever become a superstar if he can't read and adjust to differing defensive schemes. Although Dan Marino scored exceptionally low and had a pretty good career.

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IMO, if you are dumb as a rock, your athletic talent is not going to help you too much. But sometimes, a physically, naturally talented player is just so good, it overwhelmes his dumbness. Other than those that are so naturally talented, I believe the score plays a huge role.

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Again I think we are all in agreement on this. Just that there are exceptions to every rule like Manly and Marino. Other factors have got to apply as well. But if you have two players of more or less "equal" athletic prowess I would definitely go with the more "intelligent" prospect.

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Again I think we are all in agreement on this. Just that there are exceptions to every rule like Manly and Marino. Other factors have got to apply as well. But if you have two players of more or less "equal" athletic prowess I would definitely go with the more "intelligent" prospect.

 

Of course you would. The real question is if you have a player with greater production but a lower score vs a player with lower production and a higher score who do you pick? Especially if the less intelligent guy played in a big program while the more intelligent guy came out of a smaller program.

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Again I think we are all in agreement on this. Just that there are exceptions to every rule like Manly and Marino. Other factors have got to apply as well. But if you have two players of more or less "equal" athletic prowess I would definitely go with the more "intelligent" prospect.

 

Manley I can see. Marino? Thats surprising. To me at least.

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Of course you would. The real question is if you have a player with greater production but a lower score vs a player with lower production and a higher score who do you pick? Especially if the less intelligent guy played in a big program while the more intelligent guy came out of a smaller program.

 

Agree absoulutely. I would go for the guy from the big program who is the less intelligent of the two based on the probability that the level of competition faced by the candidate from the big program was significantly of a higher quality than the smarter candidate from a smaller school. That it is why the good scout/organization looks at a range of factors.

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I think it would have a lot to do with the position the player was playing. I want a smart quarterback who can analyze changing defensive schemes and call out to the players what is going on. I also want smart offensive linemen that know what to do once the scheme is figured out.

 

Now a running back....hmmm...I don't care if he's dumb as a rock because his job is to hold on to the fucking football and move the ball forward as much as possible. He doesn't have to be brilliant, but if asked to defend during a pass play, it'd be nice if he was smart enough to help out the line in a productive way.

 

On the defensive side, I believe that the middle linebacker (who is basically the def. QB) should be pretty damn smart. And I would think the safeties should likewise be pretty smart as they have to constantly change and adjust to a variety of patterns.....even some they've never seen before.

 

Wide recievers are a lot like running backs in my opinion...although they do have to get their routes right and I've seen WR's that just couldn't get it. Cornerbacks have to be a little smarter than the WR's because they have to know when to drop cover and change strategies in the middle of a play.

 

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BTW, Eli Manning took the test once and scored a "39"

 

Dan Marino, Terry Bradshaw, and Jim Kelly all scored "15" on their test.

 

Other notable QB's:

 

John Elway: "29"..... Steve Young: "33"....... Troy Aikmen: "29"...... Brett Favre: "22".....

Drew Bledsoe: "36"..... Kerry Collins: "30"....... Donovan McNabb: "14"....... Tom Brady: "33"

Peyton Manning: "28"

 

Looks like Eli is one pretty smart fella....or as my son would say, a "pretty fart smeller"

 

A link to all the quarterback wonderlic scores if interested: QB Wonderlic Scores

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Other notable QB's:

 

John Elway: "29"..... Steve Young: "33"....... Troy Aikmen: "29"...... Brett Favre: "22".....

Drew Bledsoe: "36"..... Kerry Collins: "30"....... Donovan McNabb: "14"....... Tom Brady: "33"

Peyton Manning: "28"

 

Looks like Eli is one pretty smart fella....or as my son would say, a "pretty fart smeller"

 

A link to all the quarterback wonderlic scores if interested: QB Wonderlic Scores

 

And Steve Young is an attorney, or passed the bar at least. He's a very intelligent individual. Eli dusted him. :P

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Around 20 is as much as you will ever need to grasp all that the NFL is going to throw at you. After that, its diminishing returns.

As someone's sig says "it ain't rocket surgery"

I disagree somewhat. In the old days....it was pure "smash mouth football", may the man with the most muscles and attitude win. But after a succession of Lombardi, Landry, Walsh, etc., the game became more of a high speed chess game instead of a plodding game of checkers. Pure strength and attitude is still necessary, but the speed of today's players is unbelievable at the pro-level. Speed, quickness, agility, and being able to think quickly on the fly and instantly adapt to new complex strategies has become a major part of today's game. Not to mention, offensive and defensive coaches are smarter and more savvy than ever and are constantly coming up with wild and creative schemes to keep the opposition off balance. Since the West Coast Offense has become pretty standard fare these days, there are so many more options for coaches to play with.

 

Granted, football isn't rocket "surgery" <_< , but it has become far more complex than back in the day when you handed the ball to Jim Brown 40+ times a game and rely on pure brawn to make a hole for him.

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i hear you, bleedin. but 20-25 is considered average intelligence. I scored 28 myself. I used to give this test as part of employment screening. Besides a low threshold, we also had a high, above which we didn't feel people who were that intelligent would be right for the position at hand.

 

Perhaps part of Eli's early struggles (and this is only a hypothesis) was that he was over analyzing and not trusting his inbred football instincts. This is a product of high intellect people.

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I'm pretty sure I read somewhere recently that William Joseph has the lowest score recorded since the test was started...

 

The two lowest scores ever taken were W. Joseph and a rock.

 

After a deaf dumb blind monkey took the test, the bottom 3 went like this:

Monkey

Joseph

rock

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Darren Davis running back from Iowa State is reported to have turned in a 4. Sebastian Janokowski the kicker from Florida State turned in a 9. Reports early on in Vince Young's combine said that he turned in a 6 but later scored a 14, which happens to be the same score as hall of famer Dan Marino. The average score for a player in the combine is 19 while the average score for people in everday life is a 21. It is said that anything under a 10 suggest literacy problems.

 

Also Pat McInally a punter/wide reciever from harvard is the only NFL player to turn in a perfect 50 on the test.

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Darren Davis running back from Iowa State is reported to have turned in a 4. Sebastian Janokowski the kicker from Florida State turned in a 9. Reports early on in Vince Young's combine said that he turned in a 6 but later scored a 14, which happens to be the same score as hall of famer Dan Marino. The average score for a player in the combine is 19 while the average score for people in everday life is a 21. It is said that anything under a 10 suggest literacy problems.

 

Also Pat McInally a punter/wide reciever from harvard is the only NFL player to turn in a perfect 50 on the test.

 

 

I scored a 50 on it. There was a dash in front of the 50 on my scorecard, but Im sure that was just to emphasize how good I did. ;)

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The two lowest scores ever taken were W. Joseph and a rock.

 

After a deaf dumb blind monkey took the test, the bottom 3 went like this:

Monkey

Joseph

rock

 

I think part of Joseph's problem was that he was a native Haitian/Creole speaker up until his teenage years when he came to the States. So he is probably mentally translating everything he hears or reads in English back into Creole. Not unusual for someone who learns another language beyond the age of 10.

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Darren Davis running back from Iowa State is reported to have turned in a 4. Sebastian Janokowski the kicker from Florida State turned in a 9. Reports early on in Vince Young's combine said that he turned in a 6 but later scored a 14, which happens to be the same score as hall of famer Dan Marino. The average score for a player in the combine is 19 while the average score for people in everday life is a 21. It is said that anything under a 10 suggest literacy problems.

 

Also Pat McInally a punter/wide reciever from harvard is the only NFL player to turn in a perfect 50 on the test.

Supposedly....the test is 50 questions and you have 12 minutes to finish it. I know that one of the questions is: "What is the ninth month of the year?" I imagine a lot of the questions are similar to those used in the gameshow,"So You Think You're Smarter Than a Fifth Grader"

 

Easy questions, but if you have think about them very long you're screwed. Actually, I'd love to get my hands on one of those tests and take it myself.

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Supposedly....the test is 50 questions and you have 12 minutes to finish it. I know that one of the questions is: "What is the ninth month of the year?" I imagine a lot of the questions are similar to those used in the gameshow,"So You Think You're Smarter Than a Fifth Grader"

 

Easy questions, but if you have think about them very long you're screwed. Actually, I'd love to get my hands on one of those tests and take it myself.

there are sample questions on line. the secret is to do 1-50 first without stopping for the tricky ones- then go back to them. a lot of folks don't finish. me- i skipped all the math ones till the end because thats my weakness.

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there are sample questions on line. the secret is to do 1-50 first without stopping for the tricky ones- then go back to them. a lot of folks don't finish. me- i skipped all the math ones till the end because thats my weakness.

 

LINK?

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