Are You Smarter Than an NFL Quarterback?
EPISODE 38: My old friend Alex Smith encourages me to put myself to the (S2) test.
For NFL executives charged with identifying the next great quarterback — the young person upon whom the fate of a multibillion-dollar enterprise might turn — the perfect IQ test has been something like the holy grail: miraculous and, as far as they know, mythical.
But that hasn’t kept teams from searching.
For decades, at the NFL’s pre-draft Combine, every prospect had to sit and take the infamous Wonderlic Test. (Which is like if your SAT scores invariably got leaked to the press.) But that mandatory ritual finally ended last year.
The Wonderlic’s de facto replacement, meanwhile, has been a new test, called the S2 Eval. And that exam has been wildly controversial in its own way.
Yes, the S2 is the test that Brock Purdy aced — the San Francisco 49ers quarterback scored in the mid-90’s — meaning that S2 Cognition is the only known entity that saw anything like this season’s MVP campaign coming from the very last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.
But the S2 is also the test that Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper reportedly cited when deciding to take Alabama quarterback Bryce Young at No. 1 overall in the 2023 Draft. Because Bryce Young scored a ridiculous 98 out of 99.
And it’s the test that both meatheads and nerds alike have been shitting on, for much of this season, because: the Panthers are 1-11; Young has been awful; Tepper just fired much of his coaching staff, mid-season; and — worst of all — the No. 2 overall pick, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, infamously bombed the S2.
And C.J. Stroud — whose score was a laughable 18 — has been putting together the greatest rookie season for an NFL quarterback that any of us have ever seen. And the 7-5 Houston Texans now look like a real playoff team, thanks to him.
All of which is why I decided to call up a former No. 1 overall draft pick who was also an ace test-taker and also had one of the worst rookie seasons for an NFL quarterback that any of us have ever seen: my old friend, from my ESPN Daily days, Alex Smith.
And Alex encouraged me, as you’ll see, to not only think differently about IQ tests in football. But to also find out what this whole S2 Eval thing is like, for myself.
DKN/YOUTUBE SPOILER ALERT:
Sorry about all the bleeps,