Let me start this by saying that Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green is one of the most talented and impactful college players I’ve ever seen and I believe he will have an outstanding NFL career. So don’t shoot the messenger.
But according to Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki, who’s actually one of the more respected draft analysts out there, Green had the lowest Wonderlic score of any wide receiver at the recent NFL scouting combine and was among the five lowest testers among 330 draft prospects.
Green answered only 10 of 50 questions correctly in the allotted 12 minutes. If you’re not familiar with the Wonderlic, it’s a general intelligence test. The average football player scores in the low 20s. If you want to take a sample test, here’s a link. (Remember, you only get 12 minutes.)
Back to Green. NFL personnel directors weigh the importance of the Wonderlic differently. Logically, the results may be more significant for a quarterback than a nose tackle. (Not to pick on nose tackles.)
In Green’s case, some scouts may consider a low test score as an indication that he won’t be able to absorb the complexities of an offense quickly. Nawrocki touched on this, adding that it “creates more pressure for a receiver like Green, but teams are still split about how much of a concern his score is.”
He quoted one talent evaluator saying: “He will get it. You’re going to have to take it slow with him and let him start at one position and let him learn on the run. He’s not going to be able to handle learning all three positions. If you ask him to be an X, Y and Z, you’re setting him up for failure.”
But another said: “A.J. won’t reach his full potential. It’s hard for dumb receivers. I don’t know that [Alabama's] Julio Jones [who scored a 15, ranking in the bottom 12 among wideouts] will be much better.”
A third scout said: “You can’t cover that guy. He’s so difficult to defend. Will it take him some time? It could. That’s on the coaches. It’s their job not to give him too much. If you overload him, you could have some problems initially, but he’s a great kid. He’ll work at it. And he’ll get it.”
My thoughts: Green probably will be among the top six selections in the draft and the team that takes him won’t regret it. Agree or disagree? And for anybody who has 12 free minutes, take the Wonderlic and tell us your score. It could be fun. Or embarrassing.
By Jeff Schultz