Young's loss could be Packers' gain

Packers stand to benefit if Wonderlic score hurts QB's draft status

The biggest news coming from the NFL Scouting Combine is the alleged 6 that Vince Young scored on his Wonderlic intelligence test. How that test score impacts Young's draft stock will impact the Green Bay Packers' draft.

First, it must be said that Young apparently didn't score the widely reported 6. A scoring error reportedly was made, and Young really scored a 16 out of 50 on the 50-question, 12-minute, multiple-choice exam.

Obviously, 16 is better than 6, but however Young supporters spin it, the Texas quarterback bombed the test. Teams prefer their quarterbacks to score at least in the high 20s, and many teams won't even consider a player at the high-intelligence position who scored less than 20.

With the draft two months away, the big question is this: Will Young's prodigious talent, high football IQ, seemingly high character and the fact he's just a few credits short of graduation outweigh a bad test score?

All of this could impact the Packers, who pick fifth in the first round when the two-day draft begins April 29.

The first pick in the draft belongs to Houston, and the Texans seem prepared to select explosive USC running back Reggie Bush. The three teams that pick between the Texans and Packers — New Orleans at No. 2, Tennessee at No. 3 and the New York Jets at No. 4 — need quarterbacks. Three quarterbacks have been named potential top-five picks — Young, USC's Matt Leinart and Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler.

If Young's test score gives one of those teams cold feet, the fleet-footed quarterback who tore apart USC's defense in the national championship game could be available when the Packers pick at No. 5.

For the second year in a row, what an interesting dilemma for Packers general manager Ted Thompson.

This is the time of year when anything GMs and coaches say should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism. Truth is an endangered species. So, when Thompson says the Packers would consider taking a quarterback at No. 5, even after they spent last year's first-round pick on Aaron Rodgers, you wonder if he's telling the truth or using a little subterfuge to plant that seed in the minds of teams who so desperately need a quarterback that they'd be willing to give up several picks to get one.

Let's say Thompson indeed is telling the truth, and he's prepared to use the top pick on another quarterback. And let's say Young's Wonderlic score raises enough red flags that he isn't drafted in the top four. Would the conservative Thompson roll the dice on Young, a player with a huge upside but who not only has a throwing motion that needs to be revamped but perhaps lacks the desired intelligence to play the position?

Now, let's say Thompson is flat-out lying and has no interest in drafting a quarterback. Clearly, whether Young scored 6, 16 or somewhere in between, a lot of teams would love to get their hands on him, and Thompson could be in position to make a deal with teams like Oakland (No. 7), Arizona (No. 10), Baltimore (No. 13) or Miami (No. 16).

One bad test score could be a big loss for Young. More importantly, at least for Packers fans, it could be a big gain for their beloved Green and Gold.

Lawrence is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com. Send comments to steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com.


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