(Source: USA Today)
The draft games are in full swing, and it seems Morris Claiborne is paying the price.
The LSU cornerback projected to go in the top five at the NFL draft on April 26 scored a 4 out of 50 on the Wonderlic test taken at the scouting combined in February, according to Pro Football Talk, citing multiple league sources.
The results are supposed to be confidential, but as draft day draws near, information such as this has a tendency to leak out. None of that means anything to Claiborne’s agent, Bus Cook, who defended his client.
“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.com. “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.”
Bill Polian, the former Indianapolis Colts general manager and current ESPN analyst, was also disturbed that Claiborne’s score had gotten out.
“There’s nothing to worry about here,” Polian said on ESPN. “It’s ashame the young man has been put through this. I don’t think it will affect his draft status.”
Long-time scout and current columnist Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post writes that the Wonderlic test is not fair to Claiborne or other draft prospects:
When Claiborne came out of high school, the schools that recruited him knew he had a learning disability. I don’t know much about his disability other than it has to do with reading.
Everyone I have talked to tells me that Claiborne has great character and is a great kid. He knows and understands his disability and uses all the resources that LSU has available to control it and to help him get by in the classroom.
When it comes to football he puts in extra time to learn and understand his assignments and it is not a problem. Will he need reps? Probably, but no more than the usual rookie would need. In saying that, Claiborne’s test score was not a true indicator of his intelligence. He can and does learn.
What I suspect happened is a club drafting after (the fifth spot) leaked the test score to try and scare off teams in the top five from drafting Claiborne.
This is dirty pool but it often happens at this time of year in the NFL. Just remember, if you start to hear a lot of negative things about some highly rated players in the next few weeks, it may be because a team who drafts later in the round wants the player to drop.
(Source: USA Today)