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2013 NFL Draft: Wonderlic Woes For Cordarrelle Patterson and Tavon Austin

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The polarizing standardized test that is the Wonderlic has claimed two victims in West Virginia's Tavon Austin and Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson. Does it matter?


The NFL Draft is right around the corner. Various players are visiting NFL franchises for workouts, mock drafts are being pumped out at an alarming rate, and it was only a matter of time until a select few were exposed to the masses for "failing" at an arguably irrelevant test of the mind for NFL players: The Wonderlic.

The Wonderlic, a multiple-choice test that consists of 50 questions to be completed within 12 minutes, was developed in the 1930's and was adopted by Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry in the 1970's in hopes of gauging a player's potential success in the NFL . It's obviously still used today.

It appears that the 2013 Draft's top receivers, West Virginia's Tavon Austin and Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson are the two prospects that have the (mis)fortune of their scores being "leaked" to the media, scoring a 7 and an 11 respectively. Does it matter? It appears to matter enough to the extent that both the test and the publicizing of a player's Wonderlic score are still an actual practice to this day, but beyond that the reality is that a standardized test isn't always the most indicative of a player's ability to become a valued player in the NFL.

NFL coaches and teams don't seem to put too much weight into Wonderlic scores, yet the media seems to take pleasure in making test scores a topic of discussion and debate. Regardless, many players have scored poorly on the test and gone on to become great players in professional football. Let's not forget that A.J. Green scored a 10 on the Wonderlic, and the Bengals gladly selected the wide receiver at fourth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. How did that work out again?

With all things considered, if Tavon Austin or Cordarrelle Patterson were to fall to the Bengals as a result of the wonderful Wonderlic, should they take advantage of their value? It would seem to be difficult to say "no" if they did.