How much weight is still placed on the Wonderlic IQ test? Apparently a good amount if you’re the New England Patriots. Former offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia broke down what the team looks for in an O-lineman from a physical, intangible, and mental standpoint. He was most specific when discussing Wonderlic scores.
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The legendary Patriots coach has been a part of five Super Bowl championship teams and while Tom Brady’s departure has been the most discussed, Scarnecchia’s exit might prove to be the toughest for the team to handle.
Scarnecchia was on Sirius XM radio discussing Jarrett Stidham and other Patriots-related issues when he began to speak about the most desirable traits for an offensive lineman.
Speaking about a prospect’s intelligence, Scarnecchia said:
They have to be smart enough. It’s hard to play with guys that aren’t mentally flexible at the line of scrimmage and don’t get the checks, and don’t understand that plays get packaged, so ‘if we don’t have this, we have to go to that.’ They have to be smart, so what does that equate to? I’m not saying everyone has to have a Wonderlic of over 30. I’m not saying they have to have a Wonderlic of over 20. But usually for us, kind of the defining line is 17, 18. Guys below that, we’ve found, the mistakes they made this week, they’re going to make them two weeks from now.
In case you’re wondering, the Patriots’ standards for the Wonderlic aren’t exceptionally high. In fact, they had a player on their team who recently retired, Ben Watson, had one of the highest scores ever recorded on the test. Watson scored a 48. The 17 score that Scarnecchia mentioned is at the bottom of what is generally accepted as a decent score with one scale indicating it is the score best suited for someone who is a security guard.
In case you’re wondering, Stidham, scored a 27 and Tom Brady had a 33. Then again, NFL Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino scored a 16, which according to the scale mentioned above, he should have been a warehouseman–whatever that is.
Obviously, we’ve learned that it’s impossible, to sum up, a player or human being’s worth based on the outcome of these kinds of tests. Still, it is interesting to see such specifics given by an iconic coach, who coached for one of the greatest franchises in NFL history.
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