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  1. #1
    Benet's Avatar
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    The Mind Does Matter On Draft Day

    The Mind Does Matter On Draft Day

    [size=18px]The mind does matter on draft day[/size]

    It isn't always easy identifying potential knuckleheads in the NFL draft. But with so much money on the line, teams give it their best shot with the help of psychological testing and the league's intelligence exam, the Wonderlic.

    NFL teams spent $160 million on signing bonuses for first round draft picks a year ago.

    Think about that for a second. It explains why these young and sometimes unpredictable prospects must endure a level of pre-draft scrutiny that goes beyond a 40-yard dash, a vertical jump or anything they did on the field last fall.

    Talent still predominates. But how players fare on questions designed to measure intelligence and psychological composition also can be factors to varying degrees in where they land this week on draft boards in war rooms from Tampa to Seattle. Whether the questions make any sense as they pertain to football -- basically, they don't -- doesn't matter to teams trying to protect huge financial investments and salary cap space against potential knuckleheads.

    Prospects grin and bear it. Even ones with seemingly nothing to hide intellectually or psychologically. The league's standard intelligence exam, called the Wonderlic Personnel Test, begins with some innocuous questions and becomes more difficult.

    The psychological exams vary almost by team and can be outlandish, to say the least.

    "One of the questions was, 'Sometimes I feel like killing people. Yes or no?'" said former Gophers center Greg Eslinger. "I'm like, who in the hell puts yes? Get me away from that person."

    NFL turned to the Wonderlic in the 1970s.

    The Wonderlic was created in 1937 as a device to measure a potential employee's "ability to think on [his or her] feet, follow directions and make effective decisions under the pressure of a time clock," according to a Wonderlic press release. Former Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame head coach Tom Landry introduced the test to the NFL in the early 1970s.

    More than 2.5 million job applicants now take the test. The average score is 21 correct answers out of 50 within a 12-minute time limit. The average score for an NFL prospect is 19. The only player believed to have scored a perfect 50 is former Cincinnati Bengals punter and Harvard grad Pat McInally.

    Some of the questions are basic. For instance, one asks for the second-to-last month of the year.

    Other questions aren't as simple, at least not during a timed test for some of us not named McInally. For example: "Three individuals form a partnership and agree to divide the profits equally. X invests $9,000, Y invests $7,000 and Z invests $4,000. If the profits are $4,800, how much less does X receive than if the profits were divided in proportion to the amount invested?"

    To reduce the chances of a tainted score, there are 18 versions of the test. Players can, however, take the test before the year in which they are drafted. Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell was coached so well on the Wonderlic that he reportedly increased his score of 14 from his junior year to 28 last year. The average score for a quarterback last year was 27.

    Hall of Famers Steve Young (33) and John Elway (30) reportedly topped 30, although those scores were unconfirmed by the NFL, which does not release Wonderlic results.

    Generally, a score of less than 20 for a quarterback raises a red flag among teams. Of course, Hall of Famer Dan Marino reportedly scored a 16, according to numerous media outlets.

    The Wonderlic gained attention at this year's scouting combine in February when reports citing anonymous sources surfaced that Texas quarterback Vince Young, one of the top prospects in the draft, had scored a 6. Young has since denied the low score. Other reports have said he scored a 16, but it's unclear whether he was retested.

    Whether Young's Wonderlic score will affect his place in the draft remains to be seen.

    "You hear so much; it's something different every day," Young told USA Today during a recent visit with the Miami Dolphins.

    Are you a dog or a cat?

    Psychological testing isn't administered as uniformly throughout the league as is the Wonderlic. Draft prospects often take multiple tests. Some teams share consulting firms that administer the tests. The number of questions vary. The Giants' test reportedly has 300.

    Many of the questions leave players scratching their heads. Because only a trained psychologist may understand the meaning behind the answers, players in some cases aren't sure which answer is more beneficial.

    "Yeah, I wonder what they're trying to get at when they ask me if I'm a cat or a dog," said LSU defensive lineman Kyle Williams. "When I answer, I wonder, man, I don't know if that's good or bad. But I was a dog. I don't like cats, so I'm a dog."

    Gophers running back Laurence Maroney said he was asked for the first word that came to mind when he heard the word "police."

    "Run," Maroney said he answered.

    "What does that have to do with football?" he continued. "Nothing."

    Maybe so, but Colts President Bill Polian said psychological profiles helped the Colts select Peyton Manning instead of Ryan Leaf with the No. 1 pick in the 1998 draft. Manning has since become a likely Hall of Famer, while Leaf, picked No. 2 by San Diego, is synonymous with all-time draft busts.

    Other teams simply don't believe in psychological testing.

    Redskins Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs was asked about one particular question that Eslinger said he had to answer for a team he couldn't remember: "If your house was on fire and your family was safe, what's the first thing you would go back in for?"

    "Heck, I'd tell them, 'Get out of the way, I'm going to stomp you so I can get out first,'" Gibbs cackled. "I know what you're saying. There are some questions people ask to psychologically test guys. But we're not one of the teams that do that."

    Staff writer Chip Scoggins contributed to this report.

  2. #2
    Benet's Avatar
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    Re: The Mind Does Matter On Draft Day

    The only reason I posted this, and didn't wait for singer to do it.. Is the quote from Maroney:

    Gophers running back Laurence Maroney said he was asked for the first word that came to mind when he heard the word "police."

    "Run," Maroney said he answered.


    I laughed my ass off at that!

    :grin:

  3. #3
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    Re: The Mind Does Matter On Draft Day

    "Benet" wrote:
    The only reason I posted this, and didn't wait for singer to do it.. Is the quote from Maroney:

    Gophers running back Laurence Maroney said he was asked for the first word that came to mind when he heard the word "police."

    "Run," Maroney said he answered.


    I laughed my ass off at that!

    :grin:
    LMAO!.......................Twice!

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  4. #4
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    Re: The Mind Does Matter On Draft Day

    What a great example for our future Americans. Thank God I'm half-way through this life.



    "24 mil under the cap? there are teams 30 mil over the cap, heck that gives us at least 50 mil to spend"

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