It’s no secret that Ryan Fitzpatrick is one smart guy. But how smart, and how much does his intelligence play a part in past success in the NFL? We dug into Fitzpatrick’s Wonderlic test score results and how that relates to his overall IQ and football smarts.
For those of you that are fans of the FX show “The League” you may know that Fitzpatrick earned a spot on the show for his smarts. Here’s a clip of him on the show:
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s IQ and the Wonderlic Test
Ryan Fitzpatrick has bounced around lately with different franchises. He has been in the league since 2005, starting out with the St. Louis Rams, was traded to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008, signing as a free agent working into a regular starter role with the Buffalo Bills from 2009-2012, then bouncing from the Tennessee Titans to the Houston Texans, landing a starting role with the the Jets in 2015, then being traded back to the Houston Texans. Fitzpatrick played his college football at Harvard, and is often regarded as currently being the NFL player with the highest IQ.
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What was Ryan Fitzpatricks’s Wonderlic Score?
Ryan Fitzpatrick scored a 48 out of possible 50 on the Wonderlic test at the NFL draft combine in 2005. This is an exceptionally high score. The highest score ever recorded on the Wonderlic was Bengals punter Pat McNally, who got a 50. (McNally actually retook the test later and missed one question) The high score by McNally still a feat that is remarkable in achievement. Of the hundreds and perhaps thousands of NFL draft prospects that have taken the Wonderlic, only one has ever scored a possible 50 out of 50. Further, due to the timed difficulty of the test, any player scored higher than 40 in 12 minutes is highly impressive. Fitzpatrick’s score puts him in a unique category of high test scores over the last 30 years of pre-draft test taking.
Among both quarterbacks and other players in the NFL, Fitzpatrick is widely regarded as being the most intelligent. There were rumors after the NFL combine that Fitzpatrick actually scored at 50 and completed the test in under 9 minutes. The test is designed for the 50 questions to be completed in 12 minutes. The rumors turned out to be false as Fitzpatrick’s score was actually a 48. However, this is still a tremendously high achieving score. By comparison, most quarterbacks in last year’s draft combine scored as high as 40, (Carson Wentz) but also as low at 18. (Paxton Lynch). The score from 2205 of 48 remains as one of the highest scores of current active NFL players and undoubtedly shows that Fitzpatrick, who has struggled at times on the football field, has one of the highest IQs in the league.
So what would Ryan Fitzpatrick score on an IQ test if he were to take it and make it public? Based on his Wonderlic test, which is very similar in question content to an IQ test, we can assume that Fitzpatrick’s IQ score would be off the charts as he would fall within the less than 1% of people who score 45 or higher on a Wonderlic test. Using that, it is somewhat safe to guess that Fitzpatrick would have an IQ of 135-155.
Using statistics from IQ comparisons, it is clear that very few people score that well on an IQ test. Fitzpatrick could have an IQ much higher than our guesstimate range – regardless, his IQ score would probably be really high and well above average when compared to the rest of the population.
Fitzpatrick was also never considered a top prospect entering his NFL draft and was almost went undrafted – he was drafted in the 7th round as the 250th overall pick. Considering most drafted quarterbacks aren’t even guaranteed a roster spot after being drafted, it is impressive that Fitzpatrick earned a starting position and put up impressive numbers as a 7th round pick.