Johnny Manziel Wonderlic Test Score

It is difficult to argue that Johnny Manziel was anything but a bust after being drafted in the NFL. With below average on field statistics to multiple off field distractions, there were many warning signs that things would not go well between Manziel and the NFL. One of the warning signs we were most curious about was the Wonderlic test and determining if it would predict Manziel’s less than stellar NFL career. However that was not the case, as┬áJohnny Manziel scored a 32 on the Wonderlic test.

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Jonny Manziel’s Wonderlic test was administered during the NFL Scouting Combine. All NFL players average about a 20 on the Wonderlic test and quarterbacks average a bit higher at around 24-26 depending on the year. Ideally the Wonderlic and future success in the NFL are correlated, but that has not always been the case. There are many studies suggesting that there is no relationship between the Wonderlic and future success at any NFL position.

Johnny Manziel had a great college football career, showing the world his electrifying ability to avoid defenders, extend plays and make big throws in critical situations. While no one expected Johnny Manizel to emerge from the college football scene as a top quarterback in the National Football League, he was expected to stay out of trouble, avoid negative media attention and simply play the game.

Should we stop trusting Wonderlic test scores of quarterbacks?

In hindsight, many individual cases of Wonderlic scores have supported both using and not using the test to predict future outcomes of quarterbacks. Some quarterbacks like Terry Bradshaw had terrible scores while having stellar careers. Others like Jeff George (who scored a 10) had solid college careers but didn’t pan out in the NFL. Looking at a case by case basis you can always make claims that support or discredit the Wonderlic test being used at the NFL Scouting Combine.
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There are some studies that slice and dice the data a bit differently, either looking at players with at least over 1000 passing yards, or using different measures of success that are less traditional. In addition, there is a study suggesting that there is a correlation between low Wonderlic test scores and arrests. In other words, Wonderlic scores may be a good predictor of whether or not there will be off the field issues that will eventually affect on the field performance or draw unwanted attention to the NFL franchise.