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Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Ronde Barber: Wonderlic doesn't matter

By Pat Yasinskas

There has been a lot of talk after reports surfaced that LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne had an unusually-low score on the Wonderlic test.

Claiborne is a top prospect in the draft, and there has been a lot of speculation about him being a target of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the fifth overall pick. There is also some speculation Claiborne’s stock could drop because of the poor score.

But veteran Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber strongly disagreed with that theory Wednesday.

"I don't think it's a factor," Barber said. "I don't think it really translates into the football IQ ... I wouldn't pay much attention to it."

I think Barber is right. If the Bucs like Claiborne as a player and have been impressed in what they’ve seen in their interviews with him, then I say go ahead and take him. Barber’s not going to play forever and Aqib Talib faces an uncertain future. The most certain way to get a top-notch cornerback is with a top-10 pick. If things work out the way the Bucs hope, they won’t be picking in the top 10 again anytime soon.

Barber, who recently signed a one-year contract to play a 16th season with the Buccaneers, also said he’s not opposed to making a move to safety. There’s been some speculation that Tampa Bay’s new coaching staff may ask Barber to make a move that a fair amount of other cornerbacks have made late in their careers. Barber said he’s not opposed to moving to safety, but it’s not likely the Bucs will make any final decision on that until after the draft. If they pick Claiborne, I think the chances of Barber moving to safety suddenly will increase.

"I did that a couple of years ago,'' Barber said. "I'll fit in where I fit in. They know I'm here to help this team win ... no matter what that role is.''