NFL Draft 2012OpinionRumorsSpeculation

Claiborne’s Red Flags Are Piling Up

Over the last month or so Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman has used the media to suggest he is open to taking LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the third overall selection.

That notion has flown in the face of what almost every draftnik in the world thinks they will do: select USC left tackle Matt Kalil.

It may never be truly known whether or not Spielman’s professed love for Claiborne was a smokescreen or just him telling the truth (my money is on the former), but as we draw nearer to the NFL Draft it is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine Claiborne being the selection.

Two red flags have recently popped up that should prevent the Vikings from taking the risk at the three spot. 

First, at his Pro Day, it was revealed that Claiborne’s career in the NFL will start with a surgery.  A torn ligament in his left wrist needs to be repaired and it should give teams pause when considering the young corner.  However, Claiborne did continue to play through the injury in college, so maybe some teams will view his toughness as a plus that outweighs the negative that is the injury itself.  At third overall, however, it’d be a tough sell to select a player that immediately has medical questions.

Second, reports have emerged today that Claiborne bombed the Wonderlic Test with a shockingly low score of 4 (out of 50).  The weight scouts should put into Wonderlic scores, and the validity of the reports themselves, can be questioned and argued.  However, this information cannot be ignored by any front office.

So, while Morris Claiborne has accumulated a pair of troubling headlines over the last month, Kalil continues to be regarded as one of the safest selections in the upcoming Draft.

On Tuesday, offensive line coach Jeff Davidson was asked if he thought Kalil had a ceiling in the NFL.

“Do I think he has a ceiling? No,” he said in response.  “I think he’s a pretty good player. I’m going to leave it just at that.”

As I have been all offseason long, I am convinced the Vikings will select Kalil third overall if they stay put in that spot.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. Game, set, match. There should be no doubt(as if there ever was) that Kalil should be the pick. I think there’s more intrigue of who will be the Vikes second pick.

    1. I agree Norse but does the wonderlic score really mean anything? I read the kid has some kind of learning disability.

        1. Wonderlic shouldn’t really matter untill you get a score below 10.. I think that should raise some concern.. I tried the test my self (at – And even though it was only half of the questions so you had to multiply it with 2 – I managed to get 33 ½ – Besides I’m from Denmark, so english isn’t my first language. He should be able to get at least 10.. I would say anything less is a sign that you don’t have to much to work with

  2. If he has a learning disability, he still is the best CB in the draft, And seems to be able to overcome it …

  3. The wonderlic doesn’t mean much.. But to only score 4 is a real concern, even with learning disability. Some of these question my neighbour at 11 would be able to answer.. Even though he first started learning english at the age of 8..
    4 is a REALLY low score, and I think it’s a serious red flag. He might still be very good in the NFL, but I just can’t understand how he can get such a low score..

  4. how is that low of a score even possible learning disability or not? another ? How could someone make it through college with that kinda score? another thing would it be really difficult for him to learn a difficult playbook?