Former LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, the highest-rated cornerback in the NFL draft, scored a 4 out of 50 on the Wonderlic test administered to prospects at the NFL scouting combine in February, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Pro Football Talk first reported Claiborne's test score.
Claiborne's score is the lowest known result by a draft prospect since Iowa State running back Darren Davis reportedly received a 4 in 2000. In 2006, quarterback Vince Young, who was the third overall pick by the Tennessee Titans, reportedly scored a 6 on his initial test before retaking it and getting a 16. Quarterback Dan Marino also scored a 16 and went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Miami Dolphins.
Every year, NFL draft prospects take the Wonderlic test at the scouting combine in February. Here are some exam basics:
• Measures cognitive ability
• 50 questions answered in 12 minutes
• Scores weigh difficulty of question, pattern of answers (not number of questions answered correctly)
• First used by NFL in 1970s
• Most popular pre-employment test in use today
Claiborne's agent, Bus Cook, said he hadn't heard about Claiborne's test score.
"I haven't talked to anybody about it. All I know is that [Claiborne] was from a complicated defensive system and he flourished in it. I've never seen any sort of deficiency in him," Cook told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. "I'm sitting here in shock at what you're telling me. And if it is true, how does that get out? I thought the commissioner was going to put safeguards on this information and there would be severe discipline if it ever did get out. I don't know if he scored a 4 or a 40. All I know is he's a great kid, he's smart, and I've been thoroughly impressed with everything about him."
The Wonderlic cognitive ability test is an aptitude test consisting of 50 questions that must be answered within 12 minutes. Test scores are reported to all 32 teams but not released to the public.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said: "This should not have an impact. 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 [Tampa Bay] 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."
An LSU source told ESPN's Joe Schad that Claiborne is a "visual learner."
"Mo has a high football IQ," the source said. "He just learns in a different way. He's a visual learner. He can handle playbook and scheme in the NFL."
A 2009 study by professors from Fresno State University, the University of Georgia and Towson State found no connection between Wonderlic scores and performance during the first three years of a player's NFL career. The group studied 762 players from the 2002, 2003 and 2004 draft classes.
John W. Michel, an assistant professor at Towson University who co-authored the study, told The Washington Post: "We found in no cases was cognitive ability related to [football] performance. We did find a negative relationship for tight ends and defensive backs. For defensive backs, it was the most pronounced; basically, the lower you scored on the Wonderlic, the better you performed."
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