2012 NFL Draft Projections: Why Morris Claiborne Will Still Be a Top-10 Pick
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Every year, players entering the NFL draft are given the Wonderlic test in order to test their intelligence. It has 50 questions that players are given 12 minutes to complete. The average score is considered 21. LSU's Morris "Mo" Claiborne reportedly scored a four.
Most people are aware of Claiborne finishing with such a low score. Many view it as a red flag and wonder if it will cause the talented defensive back to fall out of the top 10. Those people should stop wondering.
One cause for the low score for Claiborne could be a reported learning disability. Claiborne, up to this point, has always worked hard to combat his disability, and the results on the field have been spectacular.
Before the results of these tests were leaked out, Caiborne was a slam dunk top-10 pick, maybe even a top five. Odds are the test results will not significantly change his draft stock.
In the 2006 NFL draft, quarterback Vince Young reportedly produced an initial score of six before raising it to 16 on his second attempt. Despite his low test scores, Young was still selected third overall by the Tennessee Titans. Young was a quarterback, not a cornerback.
One would think low test scores would be a bigger red flag for a quarterback. A quarterback has to use his head more than any player on the field (not literally, of course). Not that a corner does not have to be intelligent, but that position has more to do with reaction and instinct when compared to a quarterback.
Is Morris Claiborne a top-ten pick?
It seems unlikely that teams will shy away from the LSU standout. The Tampa Bay Times's Stephen Holder echoes these sentiments and makes another good point:
"Here’s the biggest reason you should not worry about the Bucs' ability to make an educated decision on Claiborne: his college position coach, Ron Cooper, is now the Bucs’ defensive backs coach. If Claiborne has any issues with grasping defensive concepts, no one is in better position to know this than Cooper."
The Wonderlic results will only prompt team officials to do even more homework on Claiborne. They will ask coaches and officials around LSU about his learning disabilities and how accurate those scores truly are.
Claiborne may not test well, but he passes the eye test. He possesses good size at 6'0" and 188 lbs. The LSU star is a playmaker with great speed and athleticism, which makes him the best corner available in the draft and also a capable return man, much like his former teammate, Patrick Peterson.
For what it is worth, Dan Marino, one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, only scored a 16. New York Giants star receiver Hakeem Nicks scored an 11. Both of those scores are considered below average, but both of those players are way above.
Many teams in the top 10 could use a player of Claiborne's caliber. Obviously Indianapolis and Washington will not be acquiring him, but he will be considered by almost all teams from the three spot down, no matter what the Wonderlic says.
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