Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Browns can't focus on Claiborne's score
By Jamison Hensley
If the Browns pass on LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the fourth overall pick, it shouldn't be based on his low test score.
Claiborne scored a 4 out of 50 on the Wonderlic Test administered to prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, sources confirmed to ESPN. It's the lowest known result by a draft prospect since Iowa State running back Darren Davis reportedly received a 4 in 2000. The NFL average is around 21.
The Browns certainly have to take this into account, but this shouldn't be the deciding factor unless there are more issues. This low test score should be a red flag if Claiborne missed assignments on the field or didn't interview well with teams.
Some people will joke about Claiborne's lack of book smarts, but the smart ones will put it in the right perspective. A low Wonderlic score will determine Claiborne's future just as much as his 40-yard dash time. Among the players who have scored low on this test, there have been plenty who have gone on to succeed (Dan Marino) and fail (Vince Young).
Tell me how many of these Wonderlic questions will reveal whether Claiborne can cover Mike Wallace and A.J. Green. And, before you joke about Claiborne's score, answer me this:
Three individuals form a partnership and agree to divide the profits equally. X invests $9,000, Y invests $7,000, Z invests $4,000. If the profits are $4,800, how much less does X receive than if the profits were divided in proportion to the amount invested?
John W. Michel, an assistant professor at Towson University, helped conduct a study in 2009 that analyzed the scores of 762 players. His findings say Claiborne's test score should work in his favor.
“We did find a negative relationship for tight ends and defensive backs," Michel told the Washington Post. "For defensive backs, it was the most pronounced; basically, the lower you scored on the Wonderlic, the better you performed.”
When the Browns are on the clock later this month, their decision should come down to taking either the draft's top defensive player (Claiborne) or the top running back (Trent Richardson). The Browns probably will end up taking Richardson. It's because the Browns, and not Claiborne, need to score higher.
By the way, the answer to the question above is $560.