Peyton Manning has always been a star ever since playing football. Having a quarterback legend as a father, being the top college football recruit in the country, dominating at Tennessee, being the first pick in the 1998 NFL draft, and not breaking stride throughout his entire career in the NFL. Not to mention two Super Bowl victories, the last being the final game of his career. All of this has lead him to have an almost certain spot in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Needless to say, “average” would not be an adjective often used to describe Peyton Manning, but Peyton Manning’s Wonderlic test score of 28 is just that – average.
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A Wonderlic test is similar in structure to an IQ test, and a 20 or 21 is considered the average score. This is in the same way that an IQ score of 100 is considered average. So we can infer that Peyton Manning’s IQ test score is above average. However, a Wonderlic score of 28 is shocking to most people as Peyton Manning is known to study the game more than coaches and control the line of scrimmage and pick up blitzes that is only thanks to hours of preparation and a really good memory.
Many people who know more about football than I do, including Richard Sherman, rank Peyton Manning as the smartest quarterback in the NFL.
To show that Peyton Manning’s Wonderlic score is quite average take a look at the Wonderlic test scores of all active quarterbacks that have won Super Bowls.
- Eli Manning – 39
- Aaron Rodgers – 35
- Tom Brady – 33
- Peyton Manning – 28
- Drew Brees – 28
- Russell Wilson – 28
- Joe Flacco – 27
- Ben Roethlisberger – 25
Few would argue that Eli Manning has had a better career as an NFL quarterback that his older brother Peyton (unless you’re only counting Super Bowl rings) but it is interesting to see that Peyton and Eli have such a big difference in Wonderlic test scores.
Is it possible that Peyton Manning just had a bad day? Maybe he didn’t have time to eat a well-balanced breakfast, he was running late, and he thought he had 15 minutes to take the test instead of 12.
It’s entirely possible, but then again that would be speculating.
While the Wonderlic test is only 50 questions and must be completed in 12 minutes, studies have shown that individuals who take the Wonderlic test (with different questions) over and over again will receive similar scores. So theoretically if Peyton Manning were to take the Wonderlic test again now, he would receive a similar score to when he took the test back in 1998.
In fairness to Peyton Manning, his score of 28 is actually slightly above average. Quarterbacks average a score of 24 on the Wonderlic while all NFL players average about a 20.
Also, many famous NFL quarterbacks had terrible Wonderlic scores but went on to have great NFL careers. Most notably Vinny Testaverde (17) Terry Bradshaw (16) and Dan Marino (15).
Finally, Peyton did score better on the Wonderlic than his 1998 draft rival Ryan Leaf who scored a 27.
Image courtesy Jeffrey Beall, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons