Many NFL scouts considered Claiborne to be the most talented defender in the 2012 NFL draft. Claiborne was ultimately picked up by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2012 NFL Draft and has since gone on to be one of the league’s dominant cornerbacks.
Morris Claiborne’s score of four out of fifty on the Wonderlic proved significantly lower than the NFL average for cornerbacks on the Wonderlic (18). That said, Clairborne’s low score may have alarmed some scouts, yet Claiborne’s score didn’t ultimately hamper his defensive performance on the gridiron.
In fact, Claiborne said that he blew the test off because he didn’t feel like the test gauged skills relevant to football or playing in the NFL. Claiborne might have a point, but his Wonderlic score remains the lowest and probably most embarrassing score in NFL history.
A first-round selection in the 2013 NFL draft, Cordarrelle Patterson posted an 11 out of 50 on the Wonderlic. Although Patterson is known by his teammates as “The Flash” and has the longest kick return in NFL history at 109 yards, there was nothing flashy or impressive about his significantly below average Wonderlic score.
Combine scouts were concerned from the outset with Patterson’s poor performance on the Wonderlic. Many thought that Patterson didn’t have the mental horsepower to remember plays or make snap decisions on the field.
A scout from the Tennessee Titans at the time said that IQ was a significant part of being a wide receiver in the NFL, and that Patterson might ultimately fail to learn the playbook of any team that recruited him.
Other scouts look for scores in the high 20s or low 30s from wide receivers, so Cordarrelle Patterson’s Wonderlic performance was a significant disappointment.
Jeff George was the first overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft. George’s Wonderlic score of 10 proved to be a controversial factor in the Indianapolis Colt’s deciding to pick up the young University of Illinois quarterback.
Even more surprising, the Colts gave George a six-year contract and made Jeff George the highest-paid rookie recruit up to that point in NFL history. The Colts must have seen something in the young rookie because the Wonderlic cutoff for literacy is 10 out of 50, George’s score.
Some players and scouts still question the validity and relevance of the Wonderlic as it relates to the realities of the NFL. After all, Dan Marino scored a 15 out of 50 on the Wonderlic and, by all accounts, did pretty well for himself.