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S2 Cognition Leaks: Young Excels, Stroud Flops

College Football

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

S2 Cognition Leaks: Young Excels, Stroud Flops

The S2 Cognition Test is an exam rising in importance in evaluating NFL Draft talent. For so long, general managers had to decipher the results of the Wonderlic Test, an exam designed like an IQ test. However, the Wonderlic is no longer the leading test of the NFL Draft season.

The S2 Cognition Test is similar to the Wonderlic, but evaluates things like a player’s visual, mental, and auditory reaction skills. S2 specializes in evaluating cognitive skills, like perception speed, visual ability, trajectory prediction, impulse control and improvisation, according to their website. Some have described the exam as a “40-yard dash for the brain.”

Okay, so, what does all of this mean anyway? Well, more and more general managers are taking a liking to this exam, with 14 of the current 32 teams currently locked into a contract with the exam to use for their evaluations for players. An exam like this is designated for each position, but one could argue that it’s not more valuable at any position than quarterback.

“The test is about recognizing what you’re seeing,” an NFL scout told Armando Salguero from OutKick on Friday. “You’ve got maybe six shapes that pop on your screen and one isn’t like the others and you have to identify that one fast as you can and move on to the next screen.”

All in all, the S2 is a cognition speed-based exercise designed to test a player’s brain. Unlike the Wonderlic, which is a glorified IQ Test, the S2 does a good job to evaluate a player’s skills that translate to being a high-level athlete.


The results are in for the best of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft, according to well-respected NFL journalist Bob McGinn. The scores are percentiles based on the entire population. Alabama quarterack Bryce Young nailed this test, scoring a 98 out of 100. Fresno State’s Jake Haener had the second-highest score with a 96. Top prospect Anthony Richardson got a 79. Hendon Hooker had one of the worst scores with a 46.

Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud? 18.

That’s right, 18. Stroud struggled so mightily on an exam tailored for being a quarterback. This was the lowest score by quite a lot.

Pump The Brakes

Several outlets are reporting results for this exam. Conversely, in very recent reports, the scores were leaked from S2 and may not actually be indicative of what the actual exam scores look like, according to S2 founder Brandon Ally.

“We’re obviously aware of scores being leaked, and we’re not sure where that’s coming from,” Ally said. “But I will say to take some of those with a grain of salt. We have seen, ‘Hey, so and so scored the highest in the class or the highest ever’ and ‘So and so scored low,’ and it’s like, that’s not true.” 

Okay … are the scores accurate or not? Ally seems to be dodging that question, which is arguably the most important ones. Are they leaked accurately or not? The only thing that Ally actually said pertaining to the player’s scores was that “this class as a whole — all the guys in the discussion — have scored really, really well.”


So, what do we do now? We have two conflicting reports. One from the company’s founder, who seems like he didn’t want any of these reports getting out this early. Another from our twitter-happy sports journalist friends like McGinn who are trying to be first on a story.

What if the reports are true, and Stroud really performed so poorly on this exam? Would he still be the favorite to be selected number two or even number one overall? Maybe not.

On the other hand, Young performed so well, is it impossible for him not to go first overall given these reports?

Listen, this test seemed to have left us with more questions rather than answers. The S2 Cognition Test has proved valuable in evaluating quarterbacks in the past. Just direct your eyes to Brock Purdy, who performed at an extremely high level on this exam, similarly to how Young “scored” on this exam. Others who have done well on this exam include Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow.

It’s impossible to make anything of these leaked results, especially when the founder of the exam says they aren’t true. All we can is speculate on these scores. If they’re real, they’re shocking to say the least.

If Stroud falls badly on draft night, this exam could be a potential reason why.


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