#TBT: The only player to ever score a perfect 50 on the Wonderlic was a punter
The 2017 NFL Draft Combine is here, and with it all sorts of questions: Does the Combine really matter? Should a star running back be able to do more than 10 reps on the bench press? And is the Wonderlic an outdated method for finding smart football players?
On that subject, it might be useful to note that only one player has ever scored a perfect 50 on the Wonderlic: Pat McInally, a punter and wide receiver drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1975 (fifth round, No. 120 overall). Not coincidentally, he went to Harvard.
McInally played for 10 seasons, earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors once in 1981. His legacy, however, is crushing that test. After he retired, Wonderlic hired him as its director of marketing and testing. He took the test again ... and missed one, he told the LA Times in 2011.
"It really did seem like an easy test at the time," McInally, now 63, told Rivals.com in 2006. "One of the reasons I did so well is because I didn't think it mattered. So I think I didn't feel any pressure at all. It was more of a lark, and that's when you do your best.
"If I took it 100 times, I'd probably never do that again. I didn't find out till years later that it hurt me in the draft.
"How did it hurt me in the draft? Coaches and front-office guys don't like extremes one way or the other, but particularly not on the high side. I think they think guys who are intelligent will challenge authority too much."
Interestingly, the highest score ever by a quarterback was 48 by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who also went to Harvard and was drafted in the seventh round with the 250th overall pick by the Rams in 2005.
Fun fact: McInally came up with the idea of the Starting Lineup sports figurines of the '80s and '90s. He even got his own in 1997.