C.J. Stroud may have paved the best way for an incredible change to outdated draft custom
C.J. Stroud carried out poorly in a single a part of the pre-draft course of, however that didn’t cease the Texans from drafting him second general. Might a precedent be within the making?
As of late, there are a dizzying quantity of things that go into the NFL pre-draft course of, and one among them is the S2 cognition check.
First birthed in 2016, S2 cognition has grown more and more widespread lately and is at the moment utilized by fifteen NFL groups. Notably, the Houston Texans are one of many groups that don’t make use of its providers.
Its predecessor was the Wonderlic, which was basically the SATs for draft prospects and had a number of shortcomings when it got here to assessing each a participant’s potential to grasp a playbook and one’s potential to execute it.
The S2 check gained extra nationwide recognition this previous offseason when Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud reportedly scored within the 18th percentile; against this, Alabama’s Bryce Younger’s S2 scores have been off the charts within the higher ninetieth percentiles.
These two quarterbacks ended up being taken first and second general within the 2023 NFL Draft, and one cautious takeaway is perhaps: S2 scores don’t actually matter. They supply extra of a common guideline than a pass-fail rubric for potential quarterback abilities, and shifting ahead, the exams could begin falling out of favor attributable to their unappealing penalties.
Younger scored excessive on the check, however he was already primed to be a top-five choose, and the scores didn’t essentially enhance his draft inventory by a big margin. Stroud, who did poorly, suffered an ever-so-slight hit in his draft inventory once his results became public.
This didn’t matter to Houston, who took Stroud second general forward of different quarterbacks who scored higher on the S2 (Will Levis, Anthony Richardson).
So what does this all imply going ahead? Take the S2 and another standardized exams with a grain of salt.
Texans seemed previous C.J. Stroud’s dismal S2 scores and nonetheless drafted him second
Sports activities Illustrated’s Conor Orr believes quarterbacks ought to think about opting out of the S2 check sooner or later, and that they might already be quietly doing so.
There actually is not any benefit for a quarterback to take it. Whereas it might have in the end helped Younger’s inventory, it’s exhausting to enter a check that claims to precisely quantify traits comparable to instincts, angle management, motor studying and danger tendency with out understanding how you’ll carry out and, in the end, with out understanding whether or not these outcomes will likely be weaponized towards you.
Damaged down into extra element, the S2 Cognition check consists of eight components, every of which focuses on a selected skillset. For instance, one half exams a participant’s distraction management, one other half measures notion velocity, one other exams spatial reminiscence, and so forth.
All these abilities are related to at least one’s quarterback play not directly, however there are such a lot of different components to think about. The segments of the check are weighed unequally, and simply because a quarterback exams properly general doesn’t imply he could be a superb match for each NFL offense.
The S2 Cognition appears to pose as a extra superior model of the Wonderlic as information scientists proceed to find out how gamers are wired to react on the sphere; it’s a really sincere try at making an attempt to measure how the mind processes info in real-time.
For Stroud, although, the S2 check took a backseat to his different quantifiable traits as a signal-caller, and that could be the case for future generations as properly. As he mentioned himself, he’s not a test-taker. He’s a quarterback.
An all-encompassing check just like the S2 is merely one other instrument at NFL groups’ disposal. The Texans selected to disregard it this draft — will different groups observe of their footsteps subsequent yr?