Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Wonderlic score shouldn't hurt Claiborne
By Pat Yasinskas
There’s a sensitive story out there about a player who could be one of the top prospects on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ draft list.
According to reports, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne scored a four out of a possible 50 on the Wonderlic Test that was given to prospects at the scouting combine in February. That’s a very low score, but should it impact Morris’ status in the draft?
"This should not have an impact,’’ ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. “Not to minimize his position, but this isn't a quarterback, this isn't a middle linebacker, this isn't a guy that needs to memorize a dozen reads. He needs to react. Assuming he was fine in interviews -- and all I've heard is he's a good kid -- it shouldn't change the way teams view him. I will have him as the No. 5 pick to the Bucs. These things pop up now and then and teams do a quick check, and they do their own evaluations, and they move on. Besides, not all teams trust everything they hear anyway."
I’m with Kiper. I don’t think this works against Claiborne at all. If the Bucs (or another team) like Claiborne as a player and person, I say go ahead and draft him.
A bad Wonderlic score by itself isn’t reason to stay away from a prospect. I’ve seen a similar situation in the NFC South before.
When the Carolina Panthers drafted Chris Gamble back in 2004, there were reports that the cornerback also had a low Wonderlic score. The Panthers did their homework on Gamble and drafted him. It’s worked out pretty well. Gamble’s been starting for the last eight seasons and has 27 career interceptions.