Prospective NFL Draft Picks Advised to Forego Cognitive Testing by Sports Agency

The S2 cognition test faces potential extinction, according to a report by The Athletic. Athletes First, a sports agency, has directed NFL Draft prospects to avoid participating in any cognitive tests before the draft. Athletes First’s email to NFL teams cites lack of confidentiality and potential public ridicule as reasons for the decision. The agency represents over 100 Pro Bowlers and over 100 first-round picks, including major names like Aaron Rodgers and Dak Prescott. The S2 test, used by fifteen NFL teams, measures processing of split-second information and speed of response time. For example, the S2 test results were reportedly a major red flag in the pre-draft process for C.J. Stroud, the Houston Texans quarterback. Stroud’s S2 test score was leaked, resulting in public scrutiny. Carolina Panthers owner, David Tepper, is a believer in the S2 test and it may have influenced his decision to overrule the head coach and draft a player. However, the scores do not directly correlate with on-field performance as evidenced by the success of C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young in the NFL. The founders of S2 have played damage control regarding the leaked scores, emphasizing that they should be taken with a “grain of salt”. Co-founder Brandon Ally has cited positive correlation results for the test and commented on the detrimental impact the leaks have had on players and the need for more public access to the data.