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2013 NFL Combine: Aptitude Test to Join Wonderlic Test in Scouting Process for 2013 NFL Draft

February 18th, 2013 at 8:00 AM
By Donald Lappe

The 2013 NFL Combine will feature a new test for 2013 NFL Draft prospects: an aptitude test, which will help supplement the results of the now-famous Wonderlic Test given to each aspiring NFL player. The Wonderlic Test has always been one of the most controversial aspects of the scouting process and the aptitude test could be a means of getting results that will help NFL teams better identify quality prospects. The test will be another way to measure the non-physical abilities of each prospect invited to the 2013 NFL Combine.

'NFL Draft Banner, compliments of Madden' photo (c) 2009, Marianne O'Leary - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Wonderlic Test has always been a controversial aspect of the scouting process heading into the NFL Draft. There is very little about being able to answer 50 questions unrelated to football in 12 minutes that translates to the field. It does give some insight into a person's overall intelligence and test-taking ability, plus their ability to think quickly. Still, plenty of players with subpar scores have gone on to have great NFL careers, while some who have excelled at the written examination have not had the same level success. While the new aptitude test will not replace the Wonderlic Test, the NFL is hoping it will be a quality supplement to the scouting process.

The other controversial part of the Wonderlic aspect of the scouting process has been the reporting of scores. Technically the scores are not to be made public, but each year some poor prospect is humiliated by a report of an absurdly-low score. Last year, that was Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne. A score of 10 is supposed to indicate literacy. Multiple NFL players have scored lower than that. Morris Claiborne's reported score was a four out of 50. 

The new aptitude test isn't meant to have a "good" or "bad" score. The aim is to provide NFL teams with report on each player with "coaching points," which is meant to help teams figure out how players will respond to different coaching styles. The test was developed by, and will be graded by, Harold Goldstein. Goldstein is a professor of industrial/organizational psychology at Baruch College.

The test is a written exam just like the Wonderlic, but it is a 60-minute exam instead of a 12-minute one. Being that taking an hour-long test is the last thing most players want to do at this point, it probably won't be all that popular with prospects even though it won't have the harsh scores that the Wonderlic produces. On a more important note, it will be interesting to see if the test does help NFL teams better predict the right fits for their franchise.

Will the 2013 NFL Draft class be remembered as the first class evaluated with the new aptitude test?

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Tags: 2013 NFL Combine, 2013 NFL Draft, aptitude test, Dallas Cowboys, Morris Claiborne, NFL, NFL Draft, Prospects, Wonderlic Test

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