Who’s not impressed with Morris Claiborne? Whoever came up with the Wonderlic test
The leadup to the NFL Draft can be a stressful time for top college athletes, who must undergo rigorous poking and prodding, as well as running around in skin tight underwear while a bunch of old guys watch and nod their heads while scribbling little notes. What do those notes say? “Nice butt,” maybe? That’s creepy NFL scouts, knock that off. One of the biggest stress inducers for some, however, comes by way of the vaunted Wonderlic test. The Wonderlic has long been used by the NFL to test a prospects ability to think and reason quickly, giving them a limited amount of time to complete 50 logic and reasoning questions. It’s long been dismissed as not being that important in the draft process, but it’s always fun for people to point and laugh when somebody bombs it. Enter this year’s recipient of the “Wonderlic duncecap,” Morris Claiborne!
According to reports, Claiborne, a cornerback out of LSU, scored a Wonderlic record-low 4 when he sat down for the test. Yes, lower than Vince Young’s iconic first try of 6. Lower than any other prospective NFL player in history. I hope they’re ready to print some new “Dumb Jock” posters cause they’ve just found a new poster-boy. Now all the elitist NFL observers, who rail against the game for being full of dumb brutes, have another easy example to point to and chortle as they swirl their brandy and polish their monacles.
But it may be Claiborne who has the last laugh. While there hasn’t been any correlation made between a high Wonderlic score and NFL success, there have been a few made for high Wonderlic scores and NFL failures, at least at some positions, including cornerback. According to John W. Michel, an assistant professor at Towson University:
“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.”
That’s right, when looking for a defensive back, the NFL wants them big, fast, and dumb. No thinking, just reacting. Not the nicest thing to say about the position, but science is science. So while Claiborne’s leaked Wonderlic score was thought to possibly be a ploy by NFL scouts and GMs trying to hurt the corner’s draft stock to get him to fall to their team, it turns out it may have been leaked by Claiborne’s agent to improve his bargaining position. You’re going to want to make his client happy after all, cause he’s historically slow…on tests, that is. So while people may mock Mo for being dumb, Claiborne is going to be the one laughing last because 1) he’s going to end up being one of the best corners in football and 2) he thinks slowest.