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Patriots require minimum Wonderlic IQ test score

Bill Belichick, Patriots

Strong technique and timing are important for any offensive lineman in the NFL. But for the New England Patriots, intellect is paramount.

Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia said during an interview on Sirius XM radio the Pats use the Wonderlic IQ test as a baseline for potential draft prospects (via Brain Mazique of Heavy.com):

“They have to be smart enough. It’s hard to play with guys that aren’t mentally flexible at the line of scrimmage and don’t get the checks, and don’t understand that plays get packaged, so ‘if we don’t have this, we have to go to that.’ They have to be smart, so what does that equate to? I’m not saying everyone has to have a Wonderlic of over 30. I’m not saying they have to have a Wonderlic of over 20. But usually for us, kind of the defining line is 17, 18. Guys below that, we’ve found, the mistakes they made this week, they’re going to make them two weeks from now.”

The Patriots routinely seem to have among the strongest offensive line units in the NFL. But last season was a different story.

Veteran center David Andrews missed the entirety of the 2019 campaign, and starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn played just eight games. Joe Thuney was a staple at the guard spot, which explains why the Patriots slapped him with the franchise tag this offseason. But holistically, this was a unit which struggled due to the injuries and constant changes in personnel.

Andrews is slated to return this year, and the Patriots will hope Wynn can remain fully healthy. In any case, Scarnecchia and Co. are banking on their group’s smarts as they plan for 2020.