Morris Claiborne achieves lowest Wonderlic score since 2000

  • Tad Johnson

The Wonderlic Test is a 50 question test that is administered to NFL draft prospects every year, and it seems like every few years we hear about a prospect failing monumentally and how it may affect their “draft status”. This year, that honor goes to highly touted cornerback Morris Claiborne of LSU. Claiborne reportedly scored a 4 out of 50 on the test, which is the lowest recorded score the NFL has seen since 2000.This exam tests cognitive ability. There are 50 questions to be answered in 12 minutes, and the scores weigh the difficulty of  question and pattern of answers, not the number of questions answered correctly.

Claiborne, who ran a respectable 4.5 40 yard dash at the combine, is seen as not only the top corner back prospect this year but a very good possibility to be a top-10 pick, possibly to Tampa Bay at the number 5 pick. Claiborne, though, was reported to have scored a 4 out of 50 on the Wonderlic Test today, which is the lowest score since former Iowa State running back Darren Davis scored a 4 in 2000. Mel Kiper Jr. says that his test scores shouldn’t have an extreme impact on his draft status, adding:

” 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.”

I felt like it wouldn’t be right for me to report on a test that I had never seen before, so I found a sample Wonderlic test online. Though not the exact test that is taken in the pro’s, this is a 12 question sample. While generally the test is 50 questions and the test-taker is given 12 minutes, I was only given 5 minutes. I scored a 9/12, which isn’t bad. If you want to try the small sample, here’s the link to the site that I used. Let me know how you did and see how you stack up!

Anyway, back to the issue at hand. Kiper says that this won’t make a difference come draft day, and I tend to agree with him. Based on former players and their scores, it doesn’t seem to be the be-all-end-all of a players career. Players who have performed poorly on the test include Giants WR Hakeem Nicks (11/50), Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski (9/50) and Eagles QB Vince Young (6/50 and then a 16/50 on his second try). There is one name, though, that stands head and shoulders above the rest that performed poorly on the test but had a succesful career. Hall of Fame quarterback (and considered by some to still be the best of all time) Dan Marino scored a 16/50 but still went on to become a legend.

At nearly 6’0″ and 188 pounds, Morris Claiborne has seen a lot of comparisons between himself and 2011 #5 overall pick Patrick Peterson. Peterson, who was a former LSU teammate of Claiborne scored low on the test also, oddly enough. Peterson notched a 9/50 and had an excellent rookie season.

What bugs me about this kind of information is how it is leaked. The wonderlic test is supposed to be released to teams, but not to the public but every year it seems like someones results get leaked. Claiborne’s agent Bus Cook isn’t happy about the information being leaked either, stating:

“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.”

Personally, I hope that this does NOT affect his draft status, and I don’t think they will. Claiborne is a great coverage corner when it comes to one-on-one coverage. He is a former wide receiver and possesses elite reaction time. His ability to take a test about common knowledge won’t be a big deal when he gets out onto the field. If a players success depended on “If a train left station A at a speed of 90 Km/Hr and Train B left the station at….” I think we would have a much different league, folks.

Thats all for today, fellas.
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Tad Johnson

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