Richard Sherman says there is a good explanation why Tua Tagovailoa, others do not do well on the Wonderlic test


The Wonderlic test is used to measure general cognitive ability in three areas: math, vocabulary and reasoning – and the All-Pro defensive back Richard Sherman challenges the process. Each year, Wonderic scores are revealed in the weeks leading up to the draft and a low score is canceled as a “red flag” so as not to spot a player – especially a quarterback.

Tua Tagovailoa was the last caller to be criticized on his Wonderlic score. Conflicting reports ensued over Tagovailoa’s actual score, as reported by ESPN’s Laura Rutledge Tagovailoa scored a 19 at the NFL Scouting Combine when he took the test and the 13 he recorded was when he took the test at the University of Alabama in the spring of 2018. There were other scores reported which were in made higher than the initial score that was reported, by Albert Breer of the Monday morning Quarterback.

Tagovialoa’s score is still below average (the average score is 20), but the score should not determine how he will behave as an NFL quarterback. Sherman criticized Wonderlic and its place in the NFL draft process.

Sherman says there is a good reason why teams shouldn’t use the test as a measure.

All-Pro defensive end Cameron Jordan shared the same sentiments as Sherman, which implies that it is a tool to improve a player’s draft. Jordan is not incorrect in this assessment as former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Mike Mamula scored a 49 in the 1995 NFL Scouting Combine – one who raised his draft to become one of 10 best choices.

Sherman would have had a 24 on the Wonderlic and he had a fairly impressive career for himself, winning three First Team All-Pro selections. The average score for cornerbacks taking the Wonderlic is 18.

Having a poor Wonderlic test score does not mean much for a professional football career. Frank Gore scored a 6 (one of the lowest of all time) and is third on the NFL rush list. Darrelle Revis scored a 10 on the Wonderlic and was arguably the best cornerback of her time, winning four First Team All-Pro selections.

Hall of Fame quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Dan Marino each scored a 15 and ended up being one of the best quarterbacks of their time. Donovan McNabb scored 14 in the test and scored 98-62-1 in 13 seasons, six Pro Bowls. 2019 NFL player par excellence Lamar Jackson scored a 13 in the test.

Bottom line: The Wonderlic test is not an indictment of a player’s career in the NFL – which may be the message Sherman is trying to send. Whether players take it seriously is another story, especially since they know the scores will likely be released and the critics will steer if they get a low score.


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