Titans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (USA Today Sports Images)
It's a cliché, but being football smart and book smart are two different things.
Some players who weren't on any Dean's List in college are football geniuses, able to instantly process every bit of information needed to play at a high level.
And being brilliant off the field doesn't always mean success on it. The site BestMastersDegrees.com studied the issue of intelligence and football. They found that the two NFL starting quarterbacks who scored the highest on the Wonderlic test were Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert and Kansas City's Alex Smith. So, the two aren't always connected.
[Photos: Average NFL Wonderlic scores by position]
The site's study of the 2012 NFL wasn't always scientific (the smartest and dumbest teams were ranked on efficiency in terms of yards per points scored and yards per points allowed, which is flawed to say the least), but it's still an interesting exercise.
They ranked these five players as the smartest in the NFL in 2012: quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback Greg McElroy, center Matt Birk, defensive lineman Desmond Bryant and receiver Bryan Walters. Fitzpatrick, Birk and Bryant attended Harvard and Walters attended Cornell. They also found that offensive tackles have the highest average Wonderlic score, so take a bow, big guys.
Here's the rest of the information from BestMastersDegrees.com:
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Blaine Gabbert