Claiborne Might Be Short On Smarts

April 3rd, 2012

Assuming it’s true, the jaw-dropper of the day comes from, whose creator Mike Florio is reporting that super cornerback Morris Claiborne scored a 4 on his Wonderlic exam.

It’s an inconceivable score, especially when one examines the test questions.

“Yes.  A four.  Out of 50,” Florio wrote. “Six years ago, quarterback Vince Young initially got a six.  Re-scoring of the test bumped it to a seven.  A next-day Mulligan moved it to 13.

“Finally, Young has someone at whom he can point and laugh.”

Well, if the report is accurate, it will give new meaning to the question, Are you smarter than a fifth-grader? In Claiborne’s case that would be a resounding, No!

So does it matter? Joe’s not sure. It should matter a little bit, but this is football not elementary school math. A guy can have his strengths, and Claiborne’s surely lie on the gridiron.

Joe can’t resist. When Claiborne visits schools, do the kids read to him?

77 Responses to “Claiborne Might Be Short On Smarts”

  1. Timbuc Says:

    I’m sure Cooper our DB coach has told Schiano whether or not Claiborne has the mental capacity to be able to pick up an NFL scheme.

  2. Marques Says:


    A 4 on the wonderlic ? Are you kidding me.

    No brains, no sense, NO THANKS.

    We need intelligent, responsible, mature football players.

    We don’t need players however talented the kid may be witha 4 on the wonderlic.

    Not today NOT EVER !

  3. Brain Says:

    Not the biggest deal in the world, but it’s hard to imagine Wonderlic scores not being positively correlated with football intelligence. It’s hard to learn a playbook and make quick decisions when you’re that dumb. Have you guys ever done a sample Wonderlic test? The thing is a complete joke if you have half a brain.

    The best part about this is that my too target (Luke Kuechly) was underrecruited because he looks like a nerd. Scouts and GMs really have their priorities straight!

  4. 911bucs Says:

    Ya I’m with you Marques..TR it is

  5. Nick Says:

    Maybe we can ask his old position coach and our current DB coach if he’s as dumb as it seems

  6. Theodore Says:

    Who gives a crap. His lack of book smarts didn’t stop him from intercepting balls thrown from genius QBs.

  7. Snook Says:

    Just imagine if this was Trent Richardson who scored a 4… the haters would be piling on. Instead, its “not the biggest deal in the world”… HAHAHAHAHA… are you kidding me?!?!?!

    Go Google “Wonderlic questions” and see the ridiculously easy stuff that comes up.

    We don’t need any more dummies on this team. Especially in the CB room. We already have Talib.

    Draft RICHARDSON. Not some idiot CB.

  8. ClayBURN94 Says:

    I wonder if he wears a helmet everywhere he goes and just not on the football field…

  9. Brandon Says:

    Ha ha, the hypocrites are out. “Claiborne is a dummy, draft Richardson” That’s what I would expect somebody that scored a FOUR on the Wonderlic to say.

    I commented on another post that we would have to hire another staffer to follow Claiborne around and wipe the drool off his chin… but after re-watching some interviews I have to say, Claiborne doesn’t come off as stupid, sounds reasonably intelligent and well-spoken, and like a team guy. I will wait to hear more before passing further judgment.

    In the meantime, all the more reason to trade down and draft a productive, athletic, BRAINY, leader of the defense like Kuechly. Did I mention BRAINY?

  10. Eric Says:

    You can’t expect a guy from LSU to know the ninth month of the year.

    But, provided he knows “He throw ball me catch it” I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

    I hope he has a trustworthy family member to protect him or he could end up working with Leon Spinks.

  11. Timbuc Says:

    Revis got a 10 when he came into the league…

    The scores on the Wonderlic test are not supposed to get out, but they often do. This year the eye-opener was LSU’s Patrick Peterson, the top-rated cornerback, had the lowest Wonderlic score at his position (nine). A.J. Green, a receiver with a first-round grade, had a 10.

    What does it mean? It may not mean anything. Peterson and Green still will be top-10 picks. A poor Wonderlic score doesn’t foreshadow a poor career. Darrelle Revis of the Jets scored a 10 and he is the best cornerback in the league. Andre Johnson scored a 14 and he is one of the best receivers in the game. So as in all standardized tests, the results are not absolute.

  12. Macabee Says:

    If we were picking a QB I might be a little concerned. If Claiborne is short on smarts and long on instincts, he’s probably a winner. Ryan Leaf scored a 27 – now there’s your bastion of intelligence. Bill’s QB, scored a 48, surpassed only by Pat McInally of the Bengals in 1975 who scored a perfect 50.Great bragging points, but won’t win a Superbowl!

    Remember, Intelligent people watch the light when crossing the street, instinctive people watch the cars because the light never killed anybody!

  13. Joe Says:

    You can’t expect a guy from LSU to know the ninth month of the year.


  14. Macabee Says:

    The Bill’s QB is Ryan Fitzpatrick. Couldn’t think of his name while posting before.

  15. Eric Says:

    All Glazer Boys hate fools gold

    Joel is a Glazer Boy.

    Does Joel hate fools gold?

    Answer: Depends on the year!

  16. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’d guess RG3 scored somewhere in the range of 49 – 50.

  17. Pete Dutcher Says:

    To score this low…I wonder if the problem isn’t smarts, but an inability to read the questions?

    It wouldn’t be the first time a player got by in high school and college on just football ability.

    Or maybe he’s dyslexic? It’s hard to believe anyone could be that stupid.

    Also…as to whether he’s to dumb to learn a playbook…now the posters are being stupid. The man learned one in college.

  18. Meh Says:

    A 4 matters. If you’ve ever seen a wonderlic you can’t imagine anyone with the correct number of chromosomes scoring a 4.

    This is a huge red flag on Claiborne imo.

  19. BigMacAttack Says:

    But I have to ask how one makes it through 4 years of college without knowing such basic information???

    I think they should give them a broader test like the ASVAB which covers many areas of knowledge and reasoning. Maybe not, many probably would get stuck on their name at the top of page 1.

    I guess its easy to say you don’t need great intelligence to play football if you are instinctive, but with massive playbooks, play changes on the fly, it looks like the Bucs’ defense has a bunch of players that scored in the 4-6 range of testing, somewhere between lost and clueless.

    Day 2, Shiano gets concussion from beating head on wall.

    Day 7, Schiano returns to Rutgers.

  20. Pete Dutcher Says:

    btw…what did Talib score when he took it? Anyone know?

  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    Pete, I think you probably nailed it there, with reading or Dyslexia. I’ve heard one of his interviews too and he didn’t sound stupid, like say a Cadillac Williams good ol boy. But again, how do you get through 4 years at a major university?

  22. BigMacAttack Says:

    BigMacAttack: You know Joe loves ya’ man. But this one was just a little over the top. Sorry. — Joe.

  23. Timbuc Says:

    @ Pete

    Talib got a 17.

  24. Bvert38 Says:

    I’m not a believer in drafting Claiborne. This pretty much seals the deal for me. We much bigger holes to fill. This kid isn’t a tackler, he is obviously not that bright, and to be honest played on one hell of a defense that could (or could not have) inflated his stats and made him look better than he is.

    Mike and Sam LB and either kind of Safety is a bigger hole to me than CB. Wright and Talib as starters and Ronde in the nickel isn’t bad. In fact that’s atleast average. If we draft Claiborne thats FOUR corners with really NO help up the middle to stop the run which to me isn’t going to make our defense any better. I understand Talib’s court case is upcoming, but that thing has holes all through it and I can’t see a scenario where that doesn’t get thrown out or him found innocent.

    If he is a true man to man cover corner like people say he is, well than a being an idiot doesn’t really matter as that position is probably the one position on the football field where you can be a border line retard and as long as you have the skills you can get by. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be able to cover someone and don’t let them catch the ball. But what it does do is it will probably force us to be week up the middle when we could trade back and draft a LB that can REALLY help our football team in Kuechly.

    If we draft a corner this year you better make sure he can play safety in a pinch. To me Gilmore would be that guy or Alfonzo Dennard out of Nebraska. We might have to have these guys play saftey until Ronde retires, then slide them over to corner. These two are physical enough to handle saftey, where Talib and Claiborne can’t. This draft is deep at Corner, not so at Safety so this might be the route we go if we take a corner in the second or trade back up to the late first.

  25. mcbuc Says:

    It is hard to score so low, unless he “Christmas treed” it. Didn’t Dan Marino have a crazy low score as well?

  26. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Thanks! 🙂

    RG3 turned down a workout with the Colts…is he insane??? Who would you rather go to…the Colts or Redskins?

  27. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Hey…I wonder if this news will push Dre higher?

  28. bucbelevr Says:

    “He throw ball me catch it”. LMAO. @Eric…

    This is a huge concern, even if Cooper our new DB coach vouches for Claiborne. It most certainly also says that future NFL complexities, variances, speeds at the NFL level, have to much of the time be mastered by the player, as new, not always taught beforehand by the DB coach. A “4” isn’t even manageable, on the scale of processing things quickly, reads, QB adjustments, safety coverage/help, etc…

    Just sounds like “work” having him as a project. Would like the rest of the Wonderlic scores to be released/leaked/bought by whomever on ALL DB’s, so we could compare.

  29. Tylund Says:

    This doesn’t matter I bet Trent score was not much higher if at all

  30. Tylund Says:

    Like someone else said in interviews Claiborne doesn’t come off as stupid. As a matter of fact Trent Richardson seems slower than Claiborne

  31. TheTaylorPrice Says:

    just throwing a scenario out there.
    1. RB Trent Richardson- The new bigger/faster Marshall Faulk; Does it all
    2. LB Zach Brown- Immediate upgrade at the Will; Butch Davis factor
    3. CB/S Trumaine Johnson- 6’3 205 Fluid, long arms, agressive vs run

    5. LB Vontaze Burfict- Sliding down draft boards, still a solid LB
    6. RB/WR Chris Rainey- The missing link, Speed
    7. Best Available

    I am not against taking Claiborne at #5, just believe Richardson is an elite back

  32. TPCMatt Says:

    @ BigMacAttack, thank u sir. I needed that today, lmao.

  33. Capt. Tim Says:

    Yeah, I gotta admit, that score is a concern.
    The “trade down, get Kueckly and Dennard” senerio just got better looking
    Damn, a 4 . . I didn’t think that was possible!
    This kid looks like a champ, but you’d have to have a guy tell him his job before every snap!!

  34. Eric Says:

    If he doesn’t make it in the NFL he could work for that show where the guys go out in the swamp and catch aligators.

    I wonder if he can spell Louisiana.

    I’m betting no.

  35. Bvert38 Says:

    No thank you for Burfict.

    I’m going to say we do this:

    Trade down with Miami for a their First and two Third round picks. They get either Tannehill or Blackmon

    1. MLB Luke Kuechly
    2. CB/S Alfonzo Denard
    3. RB LaMichael James
    3. OLB Sean Spence
    3. TE Orson Charles
    5. RB/WR Chris Rainey
    6/7. Who knows

  36. Justafan Says:

    It’s the lowest reported score for an NFL candidate.

    Folks like to point out low scores from guys like AJ Green, Percy Harvin and Dan Marino as evidence that low scores don’t matter.

    However, those guys all earned scores at least two to three times higher than what Claiborne’s was reported at.

    If true, this indicates a jaw-dropping incapability of being a real student of the game. Sure, there’s a lot less to worry about for a DB than a QB, but the only player worth anything with a score remotely close to Claiborne’s reported 4 is Frank Gore, who is dyslexic, and still managed a 7.

    *If* this is true, this guy will never be the elite DB he’s projected to be. He’s a superb athlete with tremendous instincts, and NFL OCs and WRs will eat him alive.

  37. SteveK Says:

    Agree with Snook,

    “If TR scored a 4, then everyone would be piling on..”

    Claibourne scored 33% lower than Vince Young.

    Red Flag + Yikes on that one.

    Let’s spend the 5th overall pick on a durable (see softy mccoy), and someone that can not only had a physical presence, but also a stong mental capacity to better grasp Schiano’s message.

    The 5th overall pick should not come with any ?????

    TR come on up on the price is right!

  38. UK_Buc Says:

    I agree that a horse with a pencil shove in it’s mouth would probably Scrooge at least 11, but I would say, all combine results are completely overblown in terms of hit importance.

    For example, who would draft a RB with a wonderlic score of 6 and a 4.65 40?? Well the niners did, and Frank gore now has over 7500 yards…

  39. UK_Buc Says:

    Excuse typos, iPhone!

  40. hamilton Says:

    how can he score a 4 and still be the best cb in draft, tell me joe.

  41. SteveK Says:

    Everyone mentions the “low” scores of “8,9, or 10”.

    A four is pretty bad, and I worry about Mo’s ability to dissect and think on his feet.

    We have too much riding on the line to gamble the 5th overall pick on a prospect with a score like that.

  42. SteveK Says:

    Exactly Hamilton!

    “How can he score a 4, and be the best in the draft?”

    Bucs need a bell cow, and Richardson is an elite prospect.

    Bucs need to do what is best for the Bucs Franchise.

    Top 5 picks are supposed to be spent on the best player available.

    The margin between Richardson to Claibourne is only getting wider.

  43. SteveK Says:

    Joe says: On Mo-

    “A guy can have his strengths, and Claiborne’s surely lie on the gridiron.”

    And TR is Hercules standing next to Mo.

  44. patrickbucs Says:

    I really hope that is not true, that is quite pathetic if so. I saw one of his interviews I thought he handles himself very well.

    A few posts have said the Wonderlic is a joke’ I’m not so sure about that.
    35 would be the lowest equivalent of passing an exam at the college level.
    Scouts always seem to say mid-20’s for most positions is good, around 30 for a QB.

    Here are some reported scores..

    Steve Young 33
    Tom Brady 33
    Peyton Manning 28
    Aaron Rogers 35
    Blaine Gabbert 42 – yikes
    Prince Amukamara 35
    Patrick Peterson 9

  45. SensibleBuc Says:

    Nobody is a bigger T-Rich fan on JBF than me but all of this Claiborne business is a little overblown.

    The Wonderlic doesn’t test the taker’s individual “intelligence” it merely tests his ability to make decisions under the pressure of time constraints. We don’t know the test conditions (if test was administered after his Pro Day workout he’d be more mentally fatigued) or any learning/attention disabilities Mo may have which may have affected how well he did on the test. It doesn’t test anything relating to football, learning the playbook, etc.

    Ask yourself this question: If he takes the test again and scores a 14 does anything change? Did he suddenly get smarter?

    As someone mentioned earlier, unless it’s a QB the Wonderlic means next to nothing. If Mo indeed is as dumb as everyone says he is, keep him in man to man coverage (which is what he’d be doing anyway if he’s a shutdown corner), leave him out on an island, and limit the decisions he has to make. This shouldn’t affect his draft stock at all.

  46. Eric Says:

    1. DT Gerald McCoy 22
    2. DT Brian Price 20
    2. WR Arrelious Benn 11
    3. CB Myron Lewis 20
    4. WR Mike Williams 16
    6. P Brent Bowen 31
    7. S Cody Grimm 36
    7. LB Dekoda Watson 16
    7. DE Erik Lorig 25

    For context here are the reported scored of our 2010 picks.

  47. Drew Says:

    Food for thought… I had an interview a few years ago and before the process began I arrived at the conclusion there was no way I was going to work for this company. I then proceeded to blow up the interview.

    Other teams are interested in him and may draft him before Tampa. So he blows the wonderlic hoping he falls he to Tampa.

  48. BonesMahoney Says:

    You can’t be serious, Drew.

  49. BigMacAttack Says:

    Is Claiborne a junior or senior? If he is only a junior, that would totally explain the low score. As a senior at LSU he would have at least tied that 6 by Vince. He could always try baseball and swinging a club or something that involves a mastodon tusk, like auto mechanics.

  50. BigMacAttack Says:

    I wonder if Raheem ever took the Wonderlic. Score???

  51. Fish Says:

    I don’t think I buy that…

    You look at his “crafty” play and have to believe he’s smarter than that. PFT lives off of rumors, so this could easily be bogus information.

    Those instincts, being able to recognize routes and his ability to bait quarterbacks translate to more than a 4. He may not be a genius, but that’s just ridiculously low.

  52. Kujolw Says:

    Trade down with Miami cause they will want Blackmon or Jaguars so they can take Claiborne or Blackmon. He’ll could probably get th Bengals to trade seeing as they have two 1st rounders. They need another WR across from Green andget Michael Floyd.

  53. Capt. Tim Says:

    Drew- that’s not out of the question. Several of our Dt’s have insinuated that ” they knew the Bench press didn’t matter”. With Sapp and McCoy, they both sounded like they were told to lowball the press

    But damn! A four!! I don’t think that’s true- I’ve heard Claiborne speak on numerous occasions. He’s articulate!
    With a four- he’d be all grunts!

    But even lowballing – a four?
    That would have been like Sapp swing he couldn’t lift 150 lbs!!
    He would have just set it on his chest, and wriggled around, like it was crushing him! Would to have had to start crying to match that damn 4!!

  54. Timbuc Says:

    Found this on another site…According to the National Football Post’s Greg Gabriel, LSU CB Morris Claiborne was diagnosed with a learning disability in high school.
    This helps explain why he registered a four on the Wonderlic Test. Per Gabriel, colleges that recruited Claiborne knew of the learning disability, which affects the player’s ability to read. “Claiborne’s test score was NOT a true indicator of his intelligence,” Gabriel writes. “He can and does learn.”
    Apr 3 – 12:48 PM

  55. Fish Says:

    Nice find, Timbuc.

    Aside from my previous post, I agree with Capt. Tim about him sounding articulate when publicly speaking. There are just too many indicators that show he’s smarter than that.

  56. Have A Nice Day Says:

    A Wonderlic is less about how smart a person is and more about regurgitation and test taking skills.

  57. 941Buc Says:

    What of Richarson gets picked at 4? Then do you want Claibourne?

  58. Timbuc Says:

    @ Fish, here is the whole article if you want to read it…

  59. Thomas2.2 Says:

    Does anyone know what rahrah’s score was?

  60. BucsFanInChina Says:

    Some decent names on the list. marino got a 16. As long as the dude can defend his receiver and get his picks (which he has more than proven against NFL-style offenses found in the SEC) so what if he can’t walk and chew gum at the same time?

  61. Macabee Says:

    This is my lucky day! If this assures that Claiborne is there at pick #5, then the Wonderlic has for once served a useful purpose. If I wanted a genius, I would have suggested drafting Stephen Hawking. What I want is a true cover corner and there’s 2 years of tape to assure me of that.

    Plan for the party on April 27, Claiborne will be in Tampa – permanently! And would somebody who believes that the Wonderlic has anything to do with football success and making good decisions, I’m still waiting for your explanation of Ryan Leaf who scored a 27!

  62. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Everyone that is saying we should just trade down has to realize that in order to do that, you have to have another team willing to trade up. It’s part of the procedure. The cost is pretty steep, and I’m not sure anyone will be willing to pay that much. I’m sure Dom will be taking calls, but it really doesn’t happen very often. There’s a reason for that.

  63. D-Rome Says:

    I’ve taken this test before and I didn’t think it was that hard. My score was over 40. A 4 is really bad. It either means he didn’t learn a thing in elementary, middle school, high school, and college or he suffers from some kind of mental disorder. Perhaps one happened due to the other.

  64. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I’m not concerned about a low wonderlic score, but a 4??? If that doesn’t at least throw a little doubt in your mind then I don’t think you would have a high score either. It’s not, nor should it be a deciding factor, but it is a bit of a concern. At least hit double figures! We are about to make a critical draft pick for the future of our franchise, so to completely ignore this would be beyond stupid. That is the job of the GM to figure out why the low score, and I’m sure Dom will do so.

  65. Capt. Tim Says:

    Ah- an explanation has presented itself!
    Then we procede with Mo as planned!

  66. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I’m not really sure the explanation makes it ok. It’s ridiculous to say that because he’s learned a college playbook, he can learn an NFL playbook. It’s like reading a kids book versus a novel. Not to mention that in college, you can get away with not learning it because you have superior athletic ability to everyone else. That won’t be the case in the NFL. Again, much more research needs to go into this before a decision is made, but it is a concern.

  67. BigMacAttack Says:

    As long as he recognizes the difference between X’s and O’s he should be in decent shape.

    Here’s the play call ” hey, yo, mo, run, hit, mo, fo, hawd “

  68. Oahubuc Says:

    My God. How is that score even possible? That’s worse than dumb.

  69. Macabee Says:

    Why that’s great D-Rome, For one I’m proud of you! Now if you really want to impress me, tell me you could also intercept a 50yd pass thrown to Megatron and you’ve made your point!

  70. Macabee Says:

    The explanation coming from his agent Bus Cook, is Claiborne wrote “Wonderlic This” all over the test and four pencil strokes inadvertently landed in an answer box. Sounds reasonable to me!

  71. JKTampa Says:

    The funny thing is that it’s a multiple choice test!!!! Statistically, he should have done better just by guessing randomly. Not only is he dumb, but he’s unlucky!

    This is a deal killer for me. I’m sick of seeing professionals do stupid things on a football field.

  72. Papawill13 Says:

    All this does is reinforce my thoughts on the guy, his Best year will be his first with each year after being worse and worse. Using chess as an example, he is a Move now player, not a move to set up the real move 5 moves from now player. As long as CB play in the NFL is 1+1 he will be fine, but dont ask him to do anything but cover one guy.

    Man I hope Kalil falls, he might not help that much This year but he is the only player the Bucs can draft at 5 that will be playing in 2022.

  73. Brett Says:

    How hypocritical of people to try and reduce the importance of the test. So, if I get a good score on the test, it’s irrelevant? All the years of studying and achieving doesn’t mean anything because other people acquired low scores and now those scores aren’t relevant either? Pathetic. So, I guess the test scores regarding obtaining a law degree and a doctorate no longer mean anything?

  74. Miguel Grande Says:

    Vince Young scored a six and then after 2 more tries got a 13. Anyone could randomly guess and hit the right score 25% of the time or 12.5.

    I don’t think I could risk my multi-million dollar salary by drafting some one that stupid. With the #5 pick, I would want at least a 40 score. How could he possibly pass chemistry, algebra, geometry and trigonomics.

    I tried the first 10 questions and they were so easy that I got bored and quit. I believe I would score at least a 48 without breaking a sweat.

    I wonder what Kalil’s score is. I’ve read two more articles today that indicate he’ll be available at #5. Tannehill will drop to 3 or 4. The Vikings make do something stupid like they did last year picking Christian Ponder so early. Kalil will someday be in the Hall of Fame, barring some horrific injury. They say he’s the best OT coming out of college since Tony Boselli.

    If the Rockstar passes on Kalil for the dummy, he may be be an assistant gofer for Southeastern Mississippi State Community College Gophers Volleyball team in a year or two. If they want Claiborne, just wait until the 2nd round.

  75. BigMacAttack Says:

    Hey genius, I’m calling bulls#!t on “trigonomics”. You are hereby awarded a “4”.

  76. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    ^^^LMAO at “trigonomics”

  77. princespanky Says:

    I used to work for a company that specialized in cognitive testing. The wonderlic does not test for cognitive ability at all it is all decision making under time constraints. So let’s say he does have a disability like dyslexia he could have had a 4 but he also could have bad a 20 because the fact of the matter is that he guessed at most of the questions. His communication skills wouldn’t allow him to understand what he was being asked. It means nothing really, now if you gave him a cognitive test and his reasoning was low well then he isn’t going to learn quickly. We hired Ron Cooper who knows how to work with this kid and he is a stud so I think it’s best for the Bucs and this kid to get him going. Richardson is a great runner but this is not a running league anymore unless your playing against our front 7. If for some reason Doug Martin is there in the second we have to take him then draft all Linebackers who cares. Linebackers are easier to find then stud CB’s.