Call it what you will -- unnecessary roughness? piling on? – but a report Wednesday that Terrelle Pryor’s Wonderlic score was abysmally low prompted several people to throw a yellow flag in Pryor’s defense.
Including Pryor himself.
The new Raiders quarterback was the subject of a tweet by a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer that reported Pryor scored just a seven on the Wonderlic, a test given to prospective draft picks to measure intelligence. A score of seven is incredibly low. The score was then used to explain some of the questionable decisions Pryor made in college.
The actual tweet: “Wonder why Terrelle Pryor made so many on-, off-field bad decisions at #Ohio State? He scored 7 on Wonderlic IQ test. Yes, 7. Al Davis’ QB.”
However, the report apparently was wrong.
Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, who administered two tests given to Pryor, said Pryor scored higher on both and called the report of a 7 score “erroneous.”
“I can tell you that his score was significantly higher than that,” Colbert told ESPN.com.
Later Wednesday, Pryor himself tweeted: “Funny thing is I scored a 22. Get it right.”
Over the years, Wonderlic test scores – which are supposed to be confidential but are often leaked -- have been controversial, particularly for QBs. As NFL.com reported, Hall of Famer Dan Marino reportedly scored a 16, while first-round busts JaMarcus Russell (24) and Ryan Leaf (27) scored higher. The Washington Post pointed out that in 2006, it was falsely reported that Vince Young scored a six when his actual score was 16.
Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter, long a critic of the test, said Wednesday on a San Diego radio station that he’d love to see the test eliminated altogether.
“It’s a totally useless test, it doesn’t measure football aptitude and unfortunately it always gets related to black athletes,” he said. Often, he noted, athletes who have scored well on the Wonderlic haven’t performed on the field, while those who haven’t scored well have been very good players.
Pryor, meanwhile, could see his first action in a professional game in the exhibition finale Friday night vs. the Seahawks. Raiders head coach Hue Jackson said on radio Wednesday that he’s weighing the possibility and could play Pryor if he believes the rookie is ready.
“Do I think he wants to play and compete?” Jackson said. “Yeah, any competitor wants to do that, but not at the risk of him not having success or him not being sure or anything like that. I would never do that.”