Steve Sailer, iSteve Exclusives Blog, November
The NFL requires all college players hoping to be drafted to take the 12 minute Wonderlic IQ test of 50 questions. I found the stats for the top 309 prospects in the Spring 2003 draft (the one where USC’s quarterback Carson Palmer went #1). I’ve converted it into IQ scores by assuming that 20 answers right out of 50 questions = 100 and each additional right answer is worth 2 points, although that might be overstating the IQs a little (Some sources say the mean is 21 right.) The average for all the prospects was 103, which is quite good. (I suspect, however, that players practice the test more than the typical job applicant, and I’d hardly be surprised if some of the football superagents didn’t find a way for their clients to cheat.)
Here are the scores by position and for the leading football powerhouses (although the sample sizes aren’t big enough to say much for sure about colleges’ recruiting strategies — if I could find a few more years’ worth of data, we could evaluate Paul Hornung’s controversial comment that Notre Dame [2003 average 109] needs to ease up on admissions standards so it can compete with Miami ):
Top 10 Ranked players:
|2||Charles Rogers||Michigan St.||WR||80|
|3||Terence Newman||Kansas St.||CB||96|
|6||Terrell Suggs||Arizona St.||DE||122|
|10||Marcus Trufant||Washington St.||CB||98|
Clearly, the NFL is willing to take guys who score low if they’ve got the physical skills, but it likes its QBs and offensive linemen to have 3-digit IQs. (Only 2 of the 17 quarterbacks on the list scored below 100 — those playbooks are complicated). I hope these guys with 74s and 80s have honest agents and business managers to look after all those millions they’re making.
|149||Kevin Curtis||Utah St.||WR||156|
I’ll skip the names of the lowest scorers, but the lowest was a defensive lineman on Utah with a 70. When he lined up across from Jordan Gross (140) in practice, I wonder what their colloquys sounded like?