Evidence on the importance of cognitive ability tests for NFL quarterbacks: what are the relationships among Wonderlic scores, draft positions and NFL performance outcomes?
Employing data on National Football League (NFL) quarterbacks drafted between 2002 and 2012, the authors consider whether factors correlated with a quarterback being more productive in the NFL are the same factors that correlate with an improved draft position. In particular, the authors consider the relevance of scores on the Wonderlic test. Contrary to all prior literature on the subject, the authors find that performance on the Wonderlic test is positively correlated with NFL performance. However, the authors find no clear evidence that Wonderlic scores are correlated with draft position. Beyond this primary finding, the authors reveal many other interesting results that should help researchers better understand a quarterback’s progression from college to the NFL.
Pitts, J. D. & Evans, B. A. (2018). Evidence on the importance of cognitive ability tests for NFL quarterbacks: what are the relationships among Wonderlic scores, draft positions and NFL performance outcomes?. Applied Economics, 50(27): 2957-2966.