Former LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, a likely top-five pick in this month's NFL draft, scored a four on his Wonderlic intelligence test at the NFL combine.
That's four. Zero-four. Four out of 50. Usually those two numbers bring to mind Tim Tebow's passing stats or the Oakland Raiders won-loss record, not a score on a test where a mark of 10 is considered literate.
Claiborne's four ties the lowest reported score in draft history. The NFL average is 21. The public average is 24. Vince Young, the most popular failed Wonderlic test-taker in NFL history, scored a six. Terry Bradshaw, a guy who "couldn't spell 'cat' even if you spotted him a 'ca'" got a 13.
Wonderlic scores are supposed to remain secret, but these things always have a way of getting out. This bothers Claiborne's agent Bus Cook, not necessarily because this will hurt Claiborne's draft stock (it won't) but because it reflects terribly on the agent.
"I haven't heard a word about," Cook said after hearing about it. "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."
Feigning ignorance while defending ignorance is one way to go about it, I guess.
Some folks will mock Claiborne's lack of book smarts, others will be aghast at the lack of privacy shown by the NFL's test takers. But most will correctly shrug their shoulders and know that Claiborne's football future won't be determined by an intelligence test or a 40 times or bench press reps, but by his on-field talent and off-field dedication.
He's being drafted to play defense. Whichever team takes him will almost certainly have doctors and lawyers on the payroll, thus lessening the need for him to perform emergency surgery or pore over legal documents. Plenty of great players have had low IQs and plenty of smart guys have been bad football players.
At times like this, it's important to remember the immortal words of Joe Thiesmann. "Nobody in the game of football should be called a genius," the former Washington Redskins quarterback once said. "A genius is somebody like Norman Einstein."
Morris Claiborne couldn't agree more.
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