NFL may seem like all brawls and muscle. However, to ascertain various cognitive abilities, the Wonderlic Test is a prerequisite for all NFL prospects. So, stick with us as we dive deep into the 12 Players with the Highest NFL Wonderlic Scores.
“What is a Wonderlic test?” you might wonder. It is similar to an IQ test created in 1936 by E. F. Wonderlic to measure general cognitive ability in maths, vocabulary, and reasoning.
The Navy primarily used the test during the second world war. However, Tom Landry introduced the Wonderlic test in the 1970s to evaluate players. Ever since then, the Wonderlic test has been a regular feature in the NFL.
Without any further ado, let’s look at the 12 Players With the Highest NFL Wonderlic Scores.
12 Players With the Highest NFL Wonderlic Scores
The following information is compiled from various trusted sources such as NFL.com and Sporting News.
Before we dive into the player profiles, let’s have an overview of the 12 Players With the Highest NFL Wonderlic Scores.
|12. Matthew Stafford||Quarterback||38/50|
|11. Eli Manning||Quarterback||39/50|
|10. Sean Mannion||Quarterback||40/50|
|9. Alex Smith||Quarterback||40/50|
|8. Carson Wentz||Quarterback||40/50|
|7. Blaine Gabbert||Quarterback||42/50|
|6. Kevin Curtis||Wide Receiver||48/50|
|5. Ben Watson||Tight End||48/50|
|4. Greg McElroy||Quarterback||48/50|
|3. Ryan Fitzpatrick||Quarterback||48/50|
|2. Mike Mamula||Defensive Linesman||49/50|
|1. Pat McInally||Punter||50/50|
12. Stafford, Matthew
Beginning our list is John Matthew Stafford, a quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams.
While 20/50 is considered an average Wonderlic score, the talented quarterback has an impressive 38 out of 50.
The Lions selected the 34-year-old as the first overall pick in 2009. Stafford will join the Rams on March 18, 2021, after spending over a decade with the Lions.
Stafford is only the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 5,000 yards in a single season. Furthermore, he is the fastest player in NFL history to reach 30,000 passing yards.
11: Eli Manning
Elisha Nelson Manning, also known as Eli Manning, is a former American quarterback who played in the National Football League for 16 seasons.
Manning is one of the most intelligent players in the NFL. Eli has received numerous awards throughout his illustrious career, owing to his intelligence and physical prowess.
The two-time Super Bowl champion has a Wonderlic Score of 39 out of 50, which is nearly twice as high as the average NFL player’s results of 20-21.
Furthermore, the Super Bowl XLII Most Valuable Player has a marketing degree and a 3.44 grade point average.
10. Sean Mannion
Sean Thomas Mannion is an American quarterback who currently plays for the Minnesota Vikings.
Mannion has a Wonderlic score of 40 out of 50, which is just above the average NFL quarterback Wonderlic score of 24.
Mannion attended Foothill High School in Pleasanton, California, before joining the NFL. In his first year as a starter for the Varsity high school football team, he appeared in 12 games, scored 27 touchdowns, and threw for 3,521 yards.
On the professional front, Mannion was drafted by the Rams in the third round as the 89th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Mannion, one of the most astute players on the field, enters 2022 hoping to cement his NFL credentials even further.
9. Alex Smith
Alexander Douglas Smith, born in Bremerton, Washington, is a former American quarterback who played in the National Football League for 16 seasons.
Smith was a hardworking professional on and off the field, earning a Wonderlic score of 40 out of 50. Furthermore, the Washington native earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with a 3.74 GPA.
Smith began working on his Master’s degree as well, motivated by his natural intelligence. He was, however, drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2005.
His intelligence was not limited to his education, as the former Chiefs quarterback demonstrated on the field his intellect and quick decision-making. He also led the Chiefs to four playoff appearances between 2013 and 2017.
Smith also has three Pro Bowl selections to his name, which adds to his illustrious career. Furthermore, it is widely acknowledged that Alex was instrumental in developing Patrick Mahomes into the outstanding player he is today.
8. Carson Wentz
Carson James Wentz (Carson Wentz) is an American football quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.
The 29-year-old received a Wonderlic score of 40 out of 50. Furthermore, the hardworking professional has a 4.0 GPA in health and education.
Wentz attended and played for North Dakota State University before entering the NFL. Wentz, a five-time NCAA FCS national championship winner, has been an exceptional player from the start.
Carson, on the other hand, entered the NFL after being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2016 NFL Draft. Furthermore, his selection was the highest for an FCS player in history.
In an interesting interview, the Eagles’ offensive coordinator stated that Wentz was quick off the blocks, both physically and mentally. He went on to say that Carson had an off-the-charts intelligence that few people could match.
Not to mention, the North Carolina native has consistently demonstrated his exceptional football IQ and unwavering resilience on the field.
7. Blaine Gabbert
Blaine Williamson Gabbert is an American quarterback who currently plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gabbert has an incredible Wonderlic score of 42 out of 50, owing to his quick decision-making and sharp intellect.
Gabbert played collegiately for the University of Missouri before joining the NFL. To go back even further, the Missouri native attended and played for the Parkway West Longhorns.
Blaine was a five-star blue-chip All-American, which sheds light on his brilliance on the field. Moreover, during his high school years, he was the 14th best national player in any position.
Sharp as a knife, the 32-year-old has been one of the league’s most hardworking and diligent players.
6. Kevin Curtis
Kevin Devon Curtis, a former American football wide receiver, breaks the consecutive pattern of quarterbacks on our list.
Curtis has a near-perfect Wonderlic score of 48 out of 50, earning him a near-perfect score. Not to mention, it is the highest Wonderlic score ever recorded by a wide receiver in NFL history.
Curtis finished his eight-year career with 253 catches for 3,297 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also ran a hand-timed 40-yard dash of 4.21 seconds. His 4.35 at the NFL Combine, on the other hand, is considered fairly average.
5. Ben Watson
Benjamin Seth Watson (Ben Watson) is a former American football tight end who played in the National Football League for 15 seasons.
Watson, like Curtis, has the highest Wonderlic score for his position. Like Curtis, the former tight end has a fantastic Wonderlic score of 48 out of 50.
Watson’s NFL career began with the New England Patriots. In addition, he was drafted by the Patriots in 2004.
During the same year, Watson won the Super Bowl with the Patriots, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles to claim the coveted title.
Watson played for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and New Orleans Saints during his 15-year NFL career.
4. Greg McElroy
Gregory Vincent McElroy Jr. is a former American quarterback who spent three seasons in the National Football League. The former quarterback is now a football commentator and is one of the most well-known names on the circuit.
McElroy, a popular draft pick, has an impressive Wonderlic score of 48 out of 50.
Greg completed his Master’s and undergraduate degrees within three years of enrolling at the University of Alabama.
Greg, on the other hand, only appeared in two games during his entire NFL career. However, the former college star now hosts a sports talk show on the SEC Network called Thinking Out Loud.
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Joseph Fitzpatrick, who plays for the Washington Football Team, moves into the top three. Fitzpatrick, the highest-scoring current player on our list, has a Wonderlic score of 48 out of 50.
Furthermore, the 39-year-old holds a degree in Economics from Harvard University. Fitzpatrick was also named Ivy League Player of the Year in 2004 during his collegiate career.
Ryan has spent 14 seasons in the NFL, playing for seven different teams. Because of his inconsistency in the league, the former Dolphins quarterback has earned the nicknames “Fitzmagic” and “Fitztragic.”
2. Mike Mamula
Michael Brian Mamula, born August 14, 1973, is a former American defensive lineman who played in the NFL for five seasons.
Mamula has the highest defensive lineman score to his name. The former defensive lineman has a mind-boggling Wonderlic score of 49.
Mamula had an outstanding performance at the NFL Combine in 1995. Following his outstanding performance, he was selected seventh overall out of Boston College.
However, Mamula’s NFL career did not last as long as expected, as he only played for five years.
1. Patrick McInally
John Patrick McInally, also known as Pat McInally, is a former NFL punter who played for ten seasons.
MacInally has the highest NFL Wonderlic score of 50 out of 50, making him the only NFL athlete in the world with a perfect Wonderlic score.
Prior to joining the NFL, McInally attended Harvard University, where he received numerous honors in addition to his laude honors.
Pat was a two-time All-Ivy League first-team football selection during his time at Harvard. Furthermore, his contributions were critical in leading Harvard to the Ivy League championship in 1974.
In 1981, McInally was the first Harvard graduate to play in either the NFL Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl. McInally was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016 for his outstanding collegiate career.
In the NFL, the former punter spent his entire career with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Any player’s success is not determined by a single factor. Even in a league like the NFL, where muscle-heavy athletes tend to dominate, a balance between brawl and brains is required to achieve perfect harmony.
While it is true that not all of the players mentioned above had illustrious careers, their sharp intellect and inventive minds enabled them to achieve so much more.
And with that, we conclude our discussion of the 12 NFL players with the highest Wonderlic scores.
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