If you had April 18 in your pool for the first Wonderlic score leak, congratulations, you're a winner! And who gets the honor of being embarrassed by a loose-lipped NFL personnel man with ulterior motivations? A pair of the draft's top receivers, Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson and West Virginia's Tavon Austin, are the recipients of that dubious honor.
Patterson scored an 11 on the combine's outdated and mostly irrelevant intelligence test. Austin, now being talked about as a potential top-10 pick, came in even lower with a 7. Sources from "several teams" passed along word to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the players' scores and the usual caveat that both were destined to fail once they got to the pros.
I'd be derelict in my duties if I didn't throw out a hat tip to McGinn for some textbook newspaper columnist trolling. This is how he opened his dumb receivers column:
Good luck to the National Football League coaching staff and quarterback that expect Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson to play well from scrimmage as a rookie.
"Good luck ..." I thought for a minute I was reading a Troll Tuesday parody piece.
Looking at the tape, it's pretty clear that Austin doesn't have much trouble adjusting or running routes. As for Patterson, his rawness as a prospect has never been in doubt because he's coming to the NFL with just one year at Tennessee. Those two things go much further toward predicting a player's potential for success than a standardized testing score.
Read further. One personnel guy that McGinn talked to says Austin will be fine, just slow to pick things up. Patterson is just too dang dumb to make it in the NFL, the scouts wonder. Patterson's teammate Justin Hunter will be fine; he got a 12 on the test.
Read a little further and you'll notice that seven of 16 NFL personnel people McGinn talked to ranked Patterson as the best receiver in the draft. I suppose we should check the Wonderlic scores for those personnel guys.
The sole purpose of the Wonderlic might just be to give teams information to leak out in April. It really doesn't seem to serve much purpose otherwise. Malcolm Kelly, Washington's second-round pick in 2008, scored a 22. He's effectively out of the NFL. Cincinnati's A.J. Green scored a 10, but that didn't stop the Bengals from taking him fourth overall in 2011. He's been to the Pro Bowl twice already.
The scouts doing the talking go on to express real concerns about whether or not these two can learn the finer points of route running. Don't even think about changing the call at the line with these guys. Don't you get it, or are you as simple as your SAT score says you are, dear reader?
You see what's happening here, obviously. This is no different than the bogus report earlier in the week about a drug test red flag for Cal receiver Keenan Allen. Turns out, that stemmed from Allen getting his ankle rechecked in Indianapolis and some strange thing about him being exceptionally well hydrated.
There's no way of knowing for sure, but this looks like a ploy from some team to drive down the draft stock for Austin and Patterson. Shocking, I know. It must be April.