2012 NFL Draft: The 5 Best, 5 Worst Wonderlic Scores in NFL History

Jeffrey Schmidt@JeffSchmidt9Correspondent IIIApril 4, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: The 5 Best, 5 Worst Wonderlic Scores in NFL History

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    The Wonderlic Test is a 12-minute, 50-question exam that is designed to measure learning and problem-solving abilities. The test is given to almost every draft-eligible player, and it has been administered by the NFL for more than 30 years.

    There have been great players that have scored extremely low on the test while there have also been big-time busts that have scored some of the test's highest scores. Wonderlic, Inc. claims that a score of at least 10 points suggests a person is literate, and the average football player scores around 20 points. 

    This test is irrelevant in the eyes of many, but here are the five best and five worst scores on the NFL’s heavily controversial Wonderlic Test. 

The Five Best Scores of All Time

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    The following five players have scored the highest on the Wonderlic Test since it has been administered to NFL players. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Quarterback

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    Wonderlic Score: 48

    School: Harvard

    NFL Teams: St. Louis Rams (2005-2006), Cincinnati Bengals (2007-2008), Buffalo Bills (2009-present).

    Ryan Fitzpatrick's score of 48 in 2005 was the third-highest recorded Wonderlic score in NFL history.

    The quarterback bounced around the league early in his career, but he has since found a stable home as the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. 

    Fitzpatrick was named the fifth-smartest athlete by Sporting News, and I am sure that his SAT score of 1580 had something to do with that. 

Benjamin Watson, Tight End

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    Wonderlic Score: 48

    School: Georgia

    NFL Teams: New England Patriots (2004-2009), Cleveland Browns (2010-present)

    Benjamin Watson had the potential to be one of the NFL's top tight ends, but injuries have set him back throughout the course of his career. 

    Watson did score a 48 on the Wonderlic Test, however, which is tied for the third-best score among NFL players. 

    The tight end had his best season as a pro in 2010, when he led the Browns in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. 

Kevin Curtis, Wide Receiver

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    Wonderlic Score: 48

    School: Utah State 

    NFL Teams: St. Louis Rams (2003-2006), Philadelphia Eagles (2007-2009), Miami Dolphins (2010), Kansas City Chiefs (2010), Tennessee Titans (2011)

    At age 33, Kevin Curtis' best NFL days look to be behind him. The wide receiver hasn't been a real contributor since his career year in 2007 when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles.     

    Curtis was a third-round pick back in 2003, and he opened some eyes during the combine when he scored a 48 on the Wonderlic Test. 

Mike Mamula, Linebacker

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    Wonderlic Score: 49

    School: Boston College 

    NFL Teams: Philadelphia Eagles (1995-2000)

    Mike Mamula elevated his draft stock tremendously during the pre-draft workouts leading up to the 1995 NFL draft. The linebacker posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.58 seconds, a vertical jump of 38.5 inches, a standing broad jump of 10'5" inches, a 20-yard shuttle of 4.03 seconds and a four-square run of 7.82 seconds.  

    Mamula also scored a 49 out of 50 on the Wonderlic Test, which is the second-highest score ever recorded by an NFL player. 

    The linebacker would go on to spend just six seasons with the Eagles before being forced to retire after the 2000 NFL season due to injuries. 

Pat McInally, Punter

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    Wonderlic Score: 50

    School: Harvard 

    NFL Teams: Cincinnati Bengals (1976-1885) 

    Bengals punter Pat McInally scored the only perfect 50 among his NFL peers in the history of the test's administration. 

    McInally score was extremely impressive, but the punter still believes the performance actually drove him down the board.

    How did it hurt me in the draft?” McInally told Rivals.com in 2006. “Coaches and front-office guys don’t like extremes one way or the other, but particularly not on the high side. I think they think guys who are intelligent will challenge authority too much.”

    Mclnally was drafted in the fifth round, which is still remarkably high for a punter, and he went on to have a great career with the Bengals as a punter and wide receiver.   

The Five Worst Scores of All Time

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    The following five players have scored the lowest on the Wonderlic Test since it has been administered to NFL players. 

Oscar Davenport, Quarterback

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    Wonderlic Score: 6

    School: North Carolina 

    NFL Teams: None 

    Oscar Davenport was labeled as a project quarterback coming out of college after he had limited success as the starting quarterback of the Tar Heels. The quarterback gained some attention after he helped North Carolina win the Gator Bowl over West Virginia, but his score of six on the Wonderlic Test certainly didn't help his cause. 

    Davenport wasn't drafted and he never made it to the NFL.  

Frank Gore, Running Back

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    Wonderlic Score: 6

    School: Miami (FL)

    NFL teams: San Francisco (2005-present)

    Frank Gore is one of the best examples of an NFL success story when it comes to scoring poorly on the Wonderlic Test. The All-Pro running back scored a six on the 50-question test, but he was still drafted in the third round of the 2005 draft by the San Francisco 49ers. 

    Gore has proven his critics wrong by evolving into one of the league's best all-around backs. The running back has accumulated more than 7,000 yards in seven career seasons with the 49ers. 

Edward "Pig" Prather, Safety

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    Wonderlic Score: 5

    School: Mississippi State

    NFL Teams: None

    Edward "Pig" Prather was about as smart as the animal that graces his nickname. 

    The former hard-hitting safety out of Mississippi State had an above-average career in college, but he continually received criticism for a number of boneheaded mental decisions on the playing field. 

    The five-out-of-50 score on his Wonderlic Test did not help those criticisms, which consequently left him without an NFL job.  

Darren Davis, Running Back

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    Wonderlic Score: 4

    School: Iowa State

    NFL Teams: None (played in CFL)

    Darren Davis had an excellent college career that projected well to the NFL, but that was until he received his Wonderlic score was released. Davis scored a four on the test, which is now tied for the lowest score among potential NFL players in the history of the test.

    Davis led the Big 12 in rushing yards during the 1999 season, and he ended his career with 26 total touchdowns.

    His Wonderlic Score may have cost him in the end, however, because he ended up settling for a career in the Canadian Football League when NFL teams decided to pass him up. 

Morris Claiborne, Cornerback

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    Wonderlic Score: 4

    School: LSU

    NFL Teams: None (projected top-five pick in this year's draft)

    There is always a red flag when a player scores extremely low on the Wonderlic Test, but Morris Claiborne at least has a valid excuse. Claiborne has a learning disability when it comes to reading, according to Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post, and schools that recruited him out of high school knew about it.

    It hasn't stopped Claiborne from succeeding thus far, and I certainly expect him to still be a top-five pick in the 2012 draft. 


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