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
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. Matthew Stafford
Starting off our list, John Matthew Stafford is a quarterback who plays for the Los Angeles Rams.
While 20/50 is considered an average score, the talented quarterback has an impressive 38 out of 50 Wonderlic score.
The 34-year-old was drafted as the first overall pick by the Lions in 2009. After over a decade with the Lions, Stafford joined the Rams on March 18, 2021.
Stafford became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw over 5,000 yards in a single season. Furthermore, he is currently the fastest player to reach 30,000 passing yards in NFL history.
11. Eli Manning
Elisha Nelson Manning, or Eli Manning, is an American former quarterback who played in the NFL for 16 seasons.
Manning is one of the most intelligent NFL players. Backed by his intelligence and physical prowess, Eli has received multiple accolades throughout his illustrious career.
The two-time Super Bowl winner has a 39 out of 50 Wonderlic Score, which is nearly about twice as high as the average NFL player’s results of 20-21.
Furthermore, the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLII has a degree in marketing and has a grade point average of 3.44.
10. Sean Mannion
Moving up the list, Sean Thomas Mannion is an American quarterback who currently represents the Minnesota Vikings.
Mannion has an impressive 40 out of 50 Wonderlic score, ranking just above the average NFL quarterback Wonderlic score of 24.
Before the NFL, Mannion played for the Foothill High School in Pleasanton, California. During his first year as the Varsity high school football team starter, he played in 12 games, scored 27 touchdowns, and threw for 3,521 yards.
On the professional front, Mannion was selected on round 3 as the 89th pick and was drafted by the Rams during the 2015 NFL Draft.
One of the most intelligent operators on the field, Mannion heads into 2023, hoping to rubberstamp his NFL credentials even further.
9. Alex Smith
Born in Bremerton, Washington, Alexander Douglas Smith is an American former quarterback who played in the NFL for 16 seasons.
With a highly respectable 40 out of 50 Wonderlic score, Smith was a diligent professional on and off the field. What’s more, the Washington-born athlete earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with an astounding GPA of 3.74.
Driven by his innate intelligence, Smith started working on his Master’s degree as well. However, he was drafted to the NFL with the San Franciso 49ers in 2005.
His intelligence was not just limited to his education, as the former Chiefs quarterback showed his intellect and quick decision-making on the field. Furthermore, he guided the Chiefs to four playoff runs between 2013 and 2017.
To shed more light on his glorious career, Smith also has three Pro Bowl Selections to his name. Additionally, it is well-known that Alex was instrumental in developing Patrick Mahomes into the phenomenal player he is today.
8. Carson Wentz
The 30-year-old boasts an impressive Wonderlic score of 40 out of 50. Furthermore, the highly studious professional has a 4.0 GPA in health and education to his name.
Before entering the NFL, Wentz attended and played for the North Dakota State University. An exceptional player right from the off, Wentz is a five-time NCAA FCS national championship winner.
On the other hand, Carson stepped into the NFL after being picked by the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2016 NFL Draft. Furthermore, his selection was the highest ever for an FCS player.
In an interesting interview, the offensive coordinator for the Eagles once said that Wentz was quick off the block, both physically and intellectually. He elaborated further by stating that Carson had an off-the-charts smartness about him that very few ever rivaled.
Not to mention, the North Carolina-born athlete has consistently displayed his fantastic footballing IQ and undeterred resilience on the pitch.
7. Blaine Gabbert
Moving up the list, Blaine Williamson Gabbert is an American quarterback who plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Widely known for his quick decision-making and sharp intellect, Gabbert has an incredible Wonderlic score of 42 out of 50.
Before the NFL, Gabbert represented the University of Missouri in his collegiate career. To step even further back, the Missouri-native attended and played for the Parkway West Longhorns High School.
To shed light on his brilliance on the pitch, Blaine was a five-star blue-chip All-American. Furthermore, he was the number 14 national player overall in any position during his high school years.
Sharp as a knife, the 33-year-old has been one of the most hardworking and diligent players in the league.
6. Kevin Curtis
Breaking the consecutive pattern of quarterbacks on our list, Kevin Devon Curtis is a former American football wide receiver.
Scoring a near-perfect score, Curtis boasts an impeccable Wonderlic score of 48 out of 50. Not to mention, it is the highest ever recorded Wonderlic score by a wide receiver in NFL history.
With eight seasons under his belt, Curtis compiled 253 catches for 3,297 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Furthermore, he ran a hand-timed 40-yard dash of 4.21. However, his 4.35 at the NFL Combine is considered pretty average.
5. Ben Watson
Benjamin Seth Watson (Ben Watson) is a former American football tight end who played for 15 seasons in the NFL.
Like Curtis, Watson also sports the highest Wonderlic score for his position. Similar to Curtis again, the former tight end has a phenomenal Wonderlic score of 48 out of 50.
Watson started his NFL career with the New England Patriots. Moreover, he was drafted by the Patriots in 2004.
Watson won the Super Bowl with the Patriots during the same year, defeating Philadelphia Eagles to take home the coveted title.
During his 15-year-spell in the NFL, Watson also played for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and New Orleans Saints.
4. Greg McElroy
Gregory Vincent McElroy Jr. is a former American quarterback who played for 3 seasons in the NFL. The former quarterback currently serves as a football commentator and is one of the most established names in the commentary circuit.
A hot prospect during drafts, McElroy has an exemplary Wonderlic score of 48 out of 50.
Greg received his Master’s and undergraduate degrees within three years of enrollment into the University of Alabama, respectively.
On the other hand, Greg played for just two games during his entire NFL career. However, the former college star now hosts a sports talk show, Thinking Out Loud, on the SEC Network.
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Moving into the top 3, Ryan Joseph Fitzpatrick is an American quarterback who plays for the Washington Football Team. The highest-scoring current player on our list, Fitzpatrick, has an exceptional Wonderlic score of 48 out of 50.
Moreover, the 40-year-old graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Economics. Furthermore, Fitzpatrick was named the 2004 Ivy League Player of the Year during his collegiate career.
To find his footing in the NFL, Ryan has played for seven teams over 14 seasons. Courtesy of his inconsistent performances in the league, the former Dolphins quarterback has been nicknamed “Fitzmagic” and “Fitztragic.”
2. Mike Mamula
Born on August 14, 1973, Michael Brian Mamula is a former American defensive lineman who played for 5 seasons in the NFL.
Mamula has the highest score for a defensive lineman to his name. The former defensive lineman has a staggering Wonderlic score of 49 out of 50.
Mamula had an astounding performance in the 1995 NFL Combine. Following his stellar performance, he was the seventh pick out of Boston College.
However, Mamula’s career didn’t have the expected longevity in the league, as he played for only five years in the NFL.
1. Pat McInally
Topping our list, John Patrick McInally, or Pat McInally, is a former punter who played for 10 seasons in the NFL.
The only NFL athlete in the world to have a perfect Wonderlic score, MacInally scored the highest NFL Wonderlic score of 50 out of 50.
Before the NFL, McInally attended Harvard University, where he received numerous accolades along with his cum-laude honors.
During his time at Harvard, Pat had a two-time football All-Ivy League first-team selection to his name. Furthermore, his contributions were vital in leading Harvard to the 1974 Ivy League title.
McInally became the first Harvard graduate to play in either the NFL Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl in 1981. In recognition of his stellar collegiate career, McInally was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
On the professional front, the former punter spent his entire NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The success of any player does not just depend on a singular attribute. Even in a league like NFL, where muscle-heavy athletes tend to dominate, there is still a balance that needs to be achieved between brawl and the brains to achieve perfect harmony.
While it is certain that not all players mentioned above had an illustrious career, but their sharp intellect and ingenious minds helped them achieve so much more.
And with that, we come to the end of our write about 12 Players With the Highest NFL Wonderlic Scores.