NFL Wonderlic Scores By Position

English: Kevin Curtis (left) with A. J. Feeley...

Kevin Curtis: Super smart, pretty good receiver. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The NFL’s Wonderlic Test at the annual combine turns into one of the hottest news items each draft season as the scores go public. Of course, these are supposed to be kept secret, but one way or another many scores leak out each year and pundits share their thoughts on the relative smarts or lack thereof of that season’s draft crop. While it’s been shown often over the years that Wonderlic scores have little or no correlation to on field performance, it’s still an interesting piece of data if only because every arm chair quarterback can get an idea of how they stack up to a pro athlete in at least one (potentially) measurable aspect. If you want to get an idea of how you score compared to the pros, there are any number of unofficial tests online that will give you an idea of how you’d do, like this one at

So, when it comes to position by position, where do the smartest players play? According to Paul Zimmerman’s research, here’s how the average scores play out:

  • Offensive tackle – 26
  • Center – 25
  • Quarterback – 24
  • Guard – 23
  • Tight end – 22
  • Safety – 19
  • Linebacker – 19
  • Cornerback – 18
  • Wide receiver – 17
  • Fullback – 17
  • Halfback – 16

For some reason, the only missing piece of data from his listing is defensive linemen. Absent of that, it appears the  brightest players on the field are either under center or trying to keep the defense off the quarterback. Of course, there are some notable exceptions to these rules, as there have been some notable low scores and high scores at each of these positions with vastly different careers. Here’s a brief rundown:

  • Quarterback – Blaine Gabbert scored a 42 while Cam Newton came in at half of that. Which QB would you rather have?
  • Wide receiver – A.J. Green, game breaker for the Bengals scored a 10 on the test, while journeyman receiver Kevin Curtis scored a 48. While receivers hold some of the lowest scores that go public, there are some very bright and successful stars as well, like Calvin Johnson who scored a reported 41.
  • Running Back – Frank Gore scored a lowly six on the Wonderlic, but has had an excellent career while a player like Toby Gerhart has struggled after scoring a 30.

So what do you think, is the Wonderlic a helpful toolstill for NFL teams?

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.