Morris Claiborne

 Morris Claiborne

Morris Lee Claiborne (born February 7, 1990) is an American football cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys of theNational Football League (NFL). He played college football for Louisiana State University (LSU) and was recognized as an All-American. He was selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and was considered by many to be the best defensive prospect available in the draft.[1]

Claiborne was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He attended Fair Park High School in Shreveport, where he was a three-star recruit according to[2] He played quarterbackwide receiver and defensive back. As a senior he had over 2,000 all purpose yards and 30 touchdowns as a quarterback.

[edit]College career

Claiborne attended Louisiana State University, where he played for coach Les Miles‘ LSU Tigers football team from 2009 to 2011. After spending his freshman season as a backup in 2009, he started 12 games in 2010 and recorded 37 tackles and a team leading five interceptions as a sophomore in 2010, and was named a second-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection.[3]

Following his 2011 junior season, Claiborne won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the year’s best defensive back, earned first-team All-SEC honors, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.

[edit]Professional career

[edit]2012 NFL Draft

Claiborne was not perceived as a first-round draft pick prior to his junior season.[4][5][6] By midseason, however, he had drawn the attention of NFL scouts and analysts, having erased concerns his sophomore production resulted from playing opposite of Patrick Peterson.[7][8] Towards the end of his junior season, Claiborne had established himself as the No. 1 cornerback prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft, unanimously projected as a top-6 selection.[9][10][11] Claiborne scored a 4 out of 50 on the Wonderlic Test, which is an aptitude test given to NFL prospects to test basic intelligence.[12] After being drafted, Claiborne admitted he “blew the test off” (the Wonderlic test) after seeing that it had “nothing on the test that came with football”.[13] [14]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
5 ft 11⅛ in 188 lb 33¼ in 8½ in 4.40 s 4.12 s 7.01 s 34.5 in 9 ft 8 in 4
All values from NFL Combine

Coming into the NFL draft, Claiborne was predicted to be drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the number 5 pick overall or even the 4th overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings. The first day of the NFL draft was held on April 26, 2012. On the first day of the draft, the Buccaneers traded out of the 5th pick to the 7th pick with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars selected Oklahoma State University wide-receiver Justin Blackmon with their newly acquired 5th overall pick. The Cowboys then traded with the St. Louis Rams (who had expressed their desire to trade out of the 6th pick in order to collect more draft picks) for the 6th pick, and selected Claiborne ahead of the Buccaneers. The St. Louis Rams received the Cowboys’ 2012 first and second round selections (14th and 45th overall) while the Cowboys received the 2012 first round selection (6th overall). Buccaneers drafted safety Mark Barron with the 7th overall pick.

Dallas Cowboys owner and G.M. Jerry Jones explained after Claiborne was selected that Claiborne was the only player the Dallas Cowboys would trade up for in the 2012 NFL Draft, but considered it a far fetched idea because Claiborne was ranked as a top 5 player in the draft with the Cowboys picking 14th overall. Claiborne was ranked number 2 in the Dallas Draft board right after number 1 pick Andrew Luck[15] [16] [17]

Claiborne selected jersey number 24 and joined a crowded defensive back unit featuring former Pro Bowler Mike JenkinsOrlando Scandrick and newly signed veteranBrandon Carr.

Claiborne officially signed his contract with the Cowboys on Monday, July 23, 2012, just a few days before the start of training camp. Claiborne signed a fully guaranteed deal worth $16.4 million over four years (the Cowboys included an option for a fifth year if they desire) with a $10.3 million signing bonus. [18] There was no offset language in the contract.

Posted on: NFL Passers

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