Will Stroud play with chip on shoulder for Texans?

Peter King says news surrounding the importance of the S2 Cognitive Test is "out of control" and would call anybody who would say that C.J. Stroud can't process information quickly "crazy."

Video Transcript

PETER KING: And Myles, I want to start off in Houston, with my trip to Houston, and just say, look, in our business, we don't root for people. We don't root for teams. We basically root for our own stories. At least, that's the way I am. It's going to be hard for me not to hope that CJ Stroud has some success. How much success? I don't know.

Scroll to continue with content

But I've just gotten really sour on the whole S2 thing. Because this is a test that nobody heard of two months ago-- nobody, other than people in the league. It's eight years old. It's this cognitive test that is supposed to measure how well you process, how quickly you process information. So for a quarterback, you come back from-- you get the snap from center, and you look in the secondary to try to make decisions.

This test really started to get some attention last year because the highest-scoring quarterback on the test in 2022 coming into the draft was Brock Purdy. So Brock Purdy was the last player picked in the draft, and he comes in and he plays so well in the eight games he plays for the 49ers that they said, hey, you're our starter.

So I think that was really sort of an interesting introduction of the S2 test and blah, blah, blah. But I just think it's gotten out of control a bit. Like, you cannot succeed in the NFL unless you score well on this test. And I don't know about you, I don't watch a lot of college football, but anybody who watched the Georgia game in the college playoffs-- anybody-- would say that if you say that this guy, CJ Stroud, can't process information or whatever, I'd call you crazy. He was phenomenal. 348 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions, Ohio State scored 41 points. And you don't do that. You don't do that against the best defense in college football if you're a schmo who's slow and can't process information.

I want to read you one line from CJ Stroud when I met him. And I thought it was really, really interesting. I'm just going to read this for you because I think you'll kind of appreciate it. He said, "For me, I know my film speaks for itself. I think I've been one of the most consistent players in college football for the last two years. If you turn on the tape, you can see. You can answer the questions. But those who don't understand tape might want to go to other things and analyze other things. They're more than welcome to do such. But the people who are making the choices and the picks, they know what I can do. They understood the IQ that I do have." And he said, "A lot of people haven't played the sport, and critics are going to critique."


I think-- you could just tell. Look, he was very polite. And I believe that he feels right now, I'll show you. I don't know. We haven't had a lot of discussion about the S2 Test or about Stroud. We talked a little bit about him last week. But I'm just curious, your thoughts about the test and about Stroud?

MYLES SIMMONS: I don't know enough about the test to really have an opinion on the test. You know what I mean? It's just, it's sort of nebulous, and we understand oh, it tests processing power and it's this and it's that. And oh, Brock Purdy did really well and all that. But what other quarterback has been in a situation that was with-- that Brock Purdy had? When he has to come in and, oh, I guess he's got one of the best, if not the best, left tackle in the league in Trent Williams. He gets to hand the ball off to Christian McCaffrey. He has Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. And, oh, he's also running Kyle Shanahan's offense, which is very, very famously quarterback-friendly.

So there was no better situation for Brock Purdy to be dropped into last year than that situation. And he still has to go out there and execute. And I don't want to take anything away from what Brock Purdy did because it was extremely impressive. He earned the right to be the incumbent starter. However, I don't think that just because Brock Purdy did well on whatever the S2 Test means that because CJ Stroud did or did not do well on this S2 Test, that means he's going to be a bust.

I think what you said is very true. You look at the performance that he had against Georgia. The lights were brightest. And if the kicker makes the freaking field goal, then Ohio State's playing in the College Football National Championship Game and not Georgia.


I mean, there are other examples of this too, right? I mean, you look at the Rose Bowl that he had the season before. He was tremendous in that game. So I also am not one who roots for players or whatnot. I root for stories. Because I think interesting stories are interesting fodder for things like us to talk about, right-- guys like us to talk about. But it's hard for me-- when you see the sort of tear-down job that went into CJ Stroud in this pre-draft process, it's hard for me to not be like, man, I hope he really does work out. And also the fact that he and Bryce Young are friends. I don't know if you saw the clip that was kind of floating around on social media, Peter, of them embracing after they had both been picked back in the green room. I mean that, to me, was really, really cool. And for those two guys to be pals and to get picked one/two, that's pretty cool.

PETER KING: Yeah. I thought so, too. And I think, look, I witnessed the press conference with the two players, and also with Nick Caserio DeMeco Ryans. And look, it was just a lot of happy talk, but--


PETER KING: --I think that-- first of all, I don't know, I'll follow Will Anderson anywhere, man. That guy, he is one impressive young man. I'll tell you that much. He's really, really very good. But I thought that CJ Stroud did a great job in that, too. But anyway, look, Myles, we'll see what happens.



PETER KING: This is all in the hands of Will Anderson. All I'm saying-- it's like my daughter, Laura King, says. Always says, "Dad, I'm just saying." And I'm just saying that if the Houston Texans-- like, I have a PFF analytics guy in my column today as we speak. I got him saying that the odds are right now that the two teams with the best chance to pick at the top of the draft this year are Arizona and Houston. And what that means is that, look, Arizona could have two very high picks in a draft.

There's so many implications of this. And we don't want to go too far afield. But imagine if Kyler Murray really struggles this year. Or he comes back from his ACL and he's just not that good. And this coaching staff is not crazy about him. This coaching and personnel staff didn't pick him. So imagine if all that happens, and they're facing next year having the first pick, and Caleb Williams or that Maye from North Carolina, imagine that story and what's going to happen there next year.

So I absolutely don't want to open the proverbial can of worms yet, but it's going to be an interesting year. And look, one of the other things is, how much pressure does this put on Will Anderson? A lot. So anyway, we'll get into all that, I'm sure, as the year goes on.