This is how NFL players are assessed with tooling

Assessments are also increasingly used in the sports world. In the podcast Science4-Hire host Charles Handler talks with psychologists responsible for creating the NFL’s Player Assessment Tests.


The NFL’s Player Assessment Test (NFL-PAT) is a computer-based test that takes about an hour for a player to do. It measures a wide range of traits and competencies related to the performance of the NFL players, also on and off the pitch. This includes a wide range of competencies required for success as a player including intelligence as well as personality and motivational factors (e.g., drive, stress tolerance, team orientation). In the podcast, which can be listened to down here, Drs. Harold Goldstein and Charles Scherbaum of Baruch College and Dr. Kenneth Yusko of the University of Maryland, provide you any detail on the assessment in conversation with Charles Handler.

NFL assessments

The NFL implemented the new psychological test in 2013, all players attending the National Invitational Combine in Indianapolis from 2013-2016 have been administered the test in order to provide psychological scores to all NFL clubs. The validation study demonstrates that the NFL-PAT test scores significantly correlate with player performance outcomes. “The NFL has been evaluating talent for years. They had a great deal of in-depth assessments especially around the physical abilities of the players. What they pinpointed as a great opportunity was to expend on psychological assessments”, says Harold Goldstein.

Advanced analytics

Kenneth Yusko explains what’s the difference between traditional job analysis and the NFL assessments. “This is a case where traditional job analysis meets advanced analytics. In the NFL, we had to look at analytics because we moved beyond the traditional understanding of what it took to be really effective. Now all of a sudden we weren’t just predicting performance on the field, but things like injuries, penalties, civic pride, uniform sales and negative tweets and the impact of that on the team. So really where this is different from the traditional job analysis is the incredibly varied levels and nuances of the performance criteria.”

Podcast: NFL Player Evaluation Assessments

In the podcast below the experts talk about the historical factors behind the assessments, the luxury of the data and how the FNL actually uses the program and the value that it has created.

Listen to “NFL Player Evaluation Assessments with Harold Goldstein, Kenneth Yusko and Charles Sherbaum” on Spreaker.

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