So the two big stories Tuesday in the NFL are the new Nike uniforms and the Wonderlic test score of LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. We've already hashed through the uniform changes, so let's focus on the Claiborne item -- especially since he is among the handful of players the Minnesota Vikings are surely considering for the No. 3 overall pick in the draft.
ESPN's Adam Schefter has confirmed that Claiborne scored a four (out of 50) on the test in February, the lowest known score by a draft prospect in 12 years. In our just-completed SportsNation chat, a number of you questioned the relevance of this information and if it would impact Claiborne's standing in the draft or the Vikings' potential interest. My feeling is that the Wonderlic score is mostly irrelevant and unlikely to impact anyone's evaluation on Claiborne at this point.
The relevant exchanges:
Why would ESPN publicize Morris Claiborne's wonderlic score? All it does is embarrass the guy for no good reason.
Kevin Seifert (2:25 PM)
That isn't for me to decide. But I will say that generally speaking, news isn't passed through a "comfort" filter. If it's important, it should be published. In the case of the Wonderlic, it's important to publish it with the right context, which I think it was.
Al (Wausau, WI)
Kevin, considering the question from Norman (NY), do you think it's possible that Claiborne's low Wonderlic score could cause him to slip in the first round of the draft?
Kevin Seifert (2:37 PM)
No. I agree with those who think it was leaked by someone who has a pick below, say, 5, in hopes that someone with a top-5 pick will feel public pressure to pass over him. Not going to happen to the best cornerback available in a league where pass defense is so important.
Is not the low score of Claiborne on the Wonderlic more of an indictment of LSU and college football in general than it is of him?
Kevin Seifert (2:53 PM)
I don't think the Wonderlic is designed to measure education. It supposedly measures intelligence. But again, there have been reputable studies done that suggest the results don't correspond to NFL success.
I can't say I'm outraged by the leak of this information. Wonderlic test results go to 32 teams. A lot of people see them, and there are very few secrets left in this game. The only outrageous result to me would be if Claiborne falls noticeably because of it.
As our ESPN.com news story notes, reputable studies exist that demonstrate little to no connection between Wonderlic results and NFL performance. Even if you agree that the test accurately measures intelligence, it is only one of numerous skills that help football players succeed. NFL teams have an obligation to perform a full-scale evaluation of every player, but rare is the prospect who can boast every skill imaginable. Some are a step slow in the 40-yard dash. Others don't excel in the weight room. The most important took is always the evaluation of game performance.
Everyone has their particular assessment of the top of this draft, but the consensus among football evaluators is that Claiborne is one of the best five players in it. The Vikings might not take him at No. 3, but I can't see him falling out of the top five because he has a low Wonderlic test score.