‘This is like red alert’: C.J. Stroud reportedly struggles with S2 Cognition tests

One day after former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn shared “concerns” he had heard from NFL teams about C.J. Stroud, another storyline came up Friday against the Ohio State quarterback.

According to Bob McGinn, a former Green Bay Packers beat writer for the Green Bay Press-Gazette and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Stroud scored in the 18th percentile in his S2 Cognition testing ahead of the 2023 NFL draft, well behind Alabama’s Bryce Young, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson, among others.

Stroud scored 18,” an executive said. “That is like red alert, red alert, you can’t take a guy like that. That is why I have Stroud as a bust. That in conjunction with the fact, name one Ohio State quarterback that’s ever done it in the league.”

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The S2 Cognition test, per McGinn, separates athletes based on visual learning, instinctive learning, impulse control and improvisation, while measuring how players process and make split-second decisions.

“The S2 people will say, ‘Hey, guys that graded high on this test don’t always play well,’” one club executive said, “’But, we’ve never had somebody grade low and play well.’”

Multiple sources told McGinn that Young’s total score was in the 98th percentile, while Fresno State’s Jake Haener was at 96%, Levis and BYU’s Jaren Hall finished at 93%, Houston‘s Clayton Tune finished at 84%, Richardson finished at 79 and Tennessee‘s Hendon Hooker was at 46%.

Another executive with “extensive NFL experience” told McGinn that Young is more like “Joe Burrow in his LSU year,” complimenting his “combination of poise, processing, instincts, toughness.”

With Stroud, another scout stated, concerns lie with his “calm and mellow and laidback” personality.”

“You look at how Bryce Young plays and how Stroud plays, I don’t see how anyone can look at those two play football and you’d want that guy (Stroud) over Young,” the scout said. “Bryce’s mind is so quick and he processes so fast. Whereas with Stroud, everything is much, much more programmed.”

Brandon Ally, the co-founder of the S2 Cognition test, said he was “aware of scores being leaked” when asked about them on the Pro Football Focus NFL show.

“We’re not sure where that’s coming from,” Ally said. “I will saw take some of those with a grain of salt. We have seen ‘Hey, so and so has scored the highest in the class, the highest ever, and so and so scored low.’ That’s not true.

“All guys in the discussion have scored really, really well.”

Ally continued discussions about the test results on “The Roar: A Carolina Panthers Podcast.”

“All the leaks that you’re seeing is one number,” Ally said. “It is a mistake to value one number. We give 9 different cognitive tests. If you score in the 90th you could be in the 10th for object tracking which means you have tunnel vision.”

In two seasons as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, Stroud threw for 8,123 passing yards, 85 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Stroud was a two-time Heisman finalist and a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year for the Buckeyes in each season as a starter.

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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: C.J. Stroud reportedly struggles with cognitive test before NFL draft

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