Depending on the position a player wishes to hold within a team, the minimum score desired can float up or down a few points, but the average is around 21 points, consistent with an average intelligence, and a complete competence and readiness to get on the field. Certain positions require higher scores than others; such as Quarterback and Offensive Tackle, which average 24 and 26 points, respectively. For most players, a score anywhere within a few points of 20 can be considered good, and shouldn’t hold them back in their efforts to pursue a career in the NFL. With that, NFL coaches and scouts can be somewhat wary of players with scores that are too high, since their higher than average intelligence might possess them to challenge authority, break the rules, and generally engage in misconduct when compared to players with lower, more average scores.
The point of football is to work together as a team, and if team leadership believes that someone is too apt to go about things their own way, they might not want to risk having that person on the team, or at least as a starter. The highest of all NFL intelligence test scores ever achieved on the Wonderlic test at the NFL Combine was 50 out of 50, and it was achieved by Pat McInally, who was a fifth-round draft pick in 1975. McInally admits that his high score may have set him back during the time of the NFL Draft, because his intelligence might have come off as a bit intimidating to the coaches who were planning on taking a risk on him. However, other notable players who achieved high scores include Eli Manning, Mike Mamula, and Ryan Fitzpatrick - who completed the test in a record-setting nine minutes, showing not only intellectual prowess, but an incredible ability to perform under pressure.