Tom Brady is probably the best example in NFL history of an underrated player that should have been drafted higher. In the 2000 NFL draft he was selected in the 6th round with the 199th overall pick. Six quarterbacks were selected ahead of Tom Brady before he was drafted. Considering that many smart NFL analysts view Tom Brady as the greatest NFL player EVER, those statistics are staggering.
Take a look at some of Brady’s highlights while playing at Michigan. Can you see a hall of fame quarterback in the making?
Way back in 2000, Tom Brady went to the NFL Combine and took the Wonderlic test. Do you think that you would be able to score higher than 33 on the test? Did Tom Brady’s Wonderlic score of 33 predict his hall of fame worthy future career?
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While Wonderlic scores of Wonderlic players are not released to the public, the media typically has no trouble figuring them out for most NFL prospects during the NFL combine. They’ve figured out that NFL players get an average score of 21 and NFL quarterbacks average about 24. The Wonderlic score is scored from 0-50 with the average score designed to be 20.
It’s a tough test, in particular, because players only have 12 minutes to complete the 50 questions. Calculators are not allowed and many of the questions are intentionally designed to be confusing or contain irrelevant information that testers have to sift through quickly.
While many talented NFL quarterbacks have scored much higher than 33, Tom Brady’s score is quite impressive. It’s on the high side for quarterbacks as the average QB score is about 24. Also, many great quarterbacks like Terry Bradshaw – 16 and Jim Kelly – 15 both scored low on the Wonderlic but went on to have great careers as quarterbacks in the NFL.
While Tom Brady is considered by most the best current quarterback in the league, many starting quarterbacks have scored higher than Tom Brady on the Wonderlic. Actually, it almost seems like most have scored better than Tom Brady. Here’s a quick list, there’s a good chance that we’re missing a few:
- Aaron Rodgers – 35
- Sam Bradford – 36
- Andrew Luck – 37
- Tony Romo – 37
- Matt Flynn -38
- Colin Kaepernick – 38
- Eli Manning – 39
- Alex Smith – 40
- Blaine Gabbert – 42
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – 48
Not all of those quarterbacks in that list are starters, and you might say that not all of them are actually good quarterbacks. Still, it gives you a sense that Tom Brady’s Wonderlic test score of 33 is not as elite as his level of play.
2000 NFL Draft
Wonderlic tests are meant to give scouts an extra metric to use to compare players in the same draft to one another. Remember how six quarterbacks were drafted ahead of Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL draft? Let’s take a look specifically at the Wonderlic scores of all the quarterbacks drafted ahead of Tom Brady.
- Chad Pennington – 25
- Giovanni Carmazzi – 32
- Chris Redman – 16
- Tee Martin – 11
- Marc Bulger – 29
- Spurgeon Wynn – 25
- Tom Brady – 33
What’s amazing is that Tom Brady scored higher on the Wonderlic than every single quarterback that was drafted ahead of him. This particular case goes to show that if scouts likely did not consider Tom Brady’s Wonderlic score to be such a significant factor. While plenty of other factors throughout the NFL Combine and each player’s college career were likely evaluated more closely, this clearly shows that if scouts had gone with Wonderlic test scores alone they would have been better off.
In the 2021 NFL draft, test scores were not leaked out as that normally have been in previous draft years. As there was not combine, reportedly teams had players take cognitive tests. It remains to be seen if there will be an actual on site NFL combine this upcoming NFL off season and if players will still need to take the Wonderlic as a part of the combine process.
Brady has continue to solidify his status as the most decorated quarterback in NFL history. In 2020, after a successful career in New England, he took Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl championship, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9.