NFL

What are the NFL quarterbacks' Wonderlic scores?

One of the most famous pre-draft barometers to test an up and coming NFL player is a 50 question multiple choice exam called the Wonderlic test.

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What are the NFL quarterbacks' Wonderlic scores?
Kim Klement USA TODAY Sports

The new generation of the quarterbacks selected in this year's NFL Draft have already had a chance to test themselves against NFL defenses in Week 1 of the preseason. But even before any of the QBs of the future get a chance to strap on the helmets of the teams that choose them in the selection show, they are put to the test with an assessment called the Wonderlic.

Wonderlic used in a wide variety of occupations

The Wonderlic Personnel Test, as it is more formally called, is a multiple choice exam that was created by a Northwestern grad student named Eldon F. Wonderlic. The objective of the test is to examine cognitive ability and problem-solving ability of not just NFL players but a wide array of occupations.

In the 1940s the test started being used in companies around the US. The likes of AT&T and Oscar Meyer were among the first to implement the exam for their employees. The United States Navy started to use it on upcoming pilots and navigators during World War II.

Over 60 years of Wonderlic in the NFL

The Wonderlic has been around in the NFL since Paul Brown introduced it to the league in the 1960s, but it was Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry who started using it to test the aptitude of his players, and potential draft selection in the 70s. It is now a staple in draft preparation for NFL franchises, and while a bad score in the Wonderlic won’t be the determining factor on whether or not a player will get drafted or not, it does play a role.

The test is 50 questions long, and those being examined have 12 minutes to answer the multiple choice puzzlers. Scores are given from 0 to 50 with 20 being the indication of average intelligence.

Offensive tackles the valedictorians

Quarterbacks are the most under the microscope when it comes to Wonderlic scores, although every player is made to take the test. In his book The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football, Paul Zimmerman says that offensive tackles have the top average score of any position with 26, while halfbacks have the lowest average of 16.

Darren Davis and Morris Claiborne have registered the lowest Wodnerlic scores ever in the NFL. Both scored a 4 on the exam, with Davis never being drafted, Claiborne was taken in the first round of the 2012 draft by the Cowboys and went on to win a Super Bowl with Kansas City in 2019.

McInally perfect, Fitzpatrick not far behind

Pat McInally was a punter and wide receiver picked in the fifth round of the ’75 draft. He got a 50 on his Wonderlic test and, to this day, the only NFL player to ever get a perfect score. Ryan Fitzpatrick has the highest score of any active player in the NFL at the moment. The Harvard grad got a 48 before the 2005 NFL Draft.

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz scored a 40 on his pre-draft Wonderlic. Reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers got a 35 on his exam before the 2005 draft, and reigning Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady got a 33 before being selected in the sixth round back in 2002.

This year, everything has changed including who got tested, and how. Only players who went to the medical Scouting Combine took the exam and not many scores have been released to the public.