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#3 Hendon Hooker, #2 CJ Stroud

The QB S2 COG Test was not kind to either of them.


Does the QB S2 COG Test matter? To me, it matters a lot. To scouts and GMs, it matters a lot. However, I don't think coaches care as much (if they care at all). In my experience, coaches don't want "know-it-alls" behind center. This got me in trouble in my collegiate career. Whether I was right or not, I was confident in my decision making and my ability to change plays. Even when I was right, this caused friction. NFL coaches are much more arrogant than college coaches (usually). The value of this test will vary greatly from organization to organization. Jameis Winston was terrible at aptitude tests, yet he was the #1 overall pick in 2015 because of his physical abilities. Say what you want about ol' crab legs, he threw a lot of touchdowns.


I'd be lying if I said I wasn't shocked about Hendon Hooker's score on the QB S2 Cog Test. He was an excellent student at Tennessee and has been a masterful student of the game. His improvement through his college career is rivaled by few. I mean, he only through 5 interceptions through the last two seasons COMBINED. Stroud is no slouch either. I don't think the results of these tests accurately reflect the mental potential of these two quarterbacks. However, I do believe that Bryce Young's score proves that he belongs at the top of this class.


Here are the scores for that test, according to The Sporting News who posted a phenomenal article explaining the test (highly recommend you click that link and read that article).


Tanner McKee -99th percentile

Bryce Young -98th percentile

Jake Haener -96th percentile

Will Levis -93rd percentile

Jaren Hall -93rd percentile

Clayton Tune -84th percentile

Anthony Richardson -79th percentile

Hendon Hooker -46th percentile

CJ Stroud -18th percentile


By clicking on any of those links, you can see where I ranked those quarterbacks in previous articles. Like I said, if I was a scout, I would value this test a lot. But I know many do not care about this. That score has nothing to do with skillset, which is what gets you drafted. If there are deficiencies in recognition or speed of decision making, we haven't seen them in Hendon Hooker's play the last two seasons. We didn't see them on the biggest stage of CJ Stroud's life against Georgia.


While I do care a lot about this test, it does not change my rankings.




#3 Hendon Hooker


I posted my first article about Hendon Hoooker on October 28th, 2021. "He's played #11 Florida, #13 Ole Miss, and #4 Alabama, throwing for 6 TDs, running for 1, and throwing only 1 interception." I also mentioned that, at that point, nobody had really been talking about him. The rest of the 2021 season was impressive. I was shocked when there was little to no conversation about him in regards to the 2022 NFL Draft. I actually reached out to one draft analyst near the end of the 2021 season and he said "I have not looked into him yet". Yikes. I was happy when he elected to stay in Tennessee.


Coming into this season, I had him as my #1 QB in college football. I have been preaching that he is a 1st round pick for over a year. I have caught quite a bit of flack for it, yet here we are. I fully believe he gets picked in the 1st round or early 2nd.



When compared to the others, he ranks #3 overall in my formula.

He also ranks: #4 in Strength of Schedule

#3 in Completion Percentage

#1 in TD/INT ratio

#3 in ESPN Passer Rating


In 2022, he completed 69.7% of his passes vs Georgia, 76% against Kentucky, 70% against Alabama, and 78.6% against Florida.


Over the last two seasons, he threw 53 touchdowns to 5 INTs, while also running in 10 scores. He has done it against the best programs in the country. He has been the clear leader of a Tennessee team that went 3-7 the season before Hooker and Coach Heupel teamed up in Knoxville. He is battle tested and battle proven.


My heart broke for Hendon when he tore his ACL late in the season. The draft obviously became a big question mark. I am thankful that God has been good and his knee has progressed to the point where I do not think the injury is a significant factor on Draft Day. I will always be a fan of Hendon Hooker. My gut tells me he will end up in Seattle, but I would be overjoyed to see the Colts take Jalen Carter with the #4 pick and either draft Hooker at the 36th pick or trade back into the 1st round to get him a few picks sooner.



My wife and I went down to Knoxville in November to see Hendon Hooker's last game in Neyland Stadium. Awesome trip!




#2 CJ Stroud


Once upon a time, CJ Stroud fell out of my Top 5 and Instagram threw a fit. Stroud had a pretty weak B1G conference to prepare him for the NFL. There were really only four tests he had to take that could show us if he belonged at the next level.


He started the year with an A against Notre Dame, completing over 70% of his passes while throwing 2 6-pointers. ND was ranked #5 at the start of the season, making this a huge statement. As the season went on, though, we realized that the Fighting Irish were not really in the fight for relevancy.


He got an A against Penn State, who was ranked #13 at the time. I thought they were a bit overrated so I wasn't shocked when Stroud lit them up, completing 78.8% of his passes despite the roaring crowd in Happy Valley. PSU ended up finishing the year at #7, so it really was a higher quality performance by Stroud than I accepted at the time.


He got a C against Michigan. He actually had a pretty rough November in general. He completed 38.5% of his passes against Northwestern (weather was a huge factor...but still). He completed 60% against IU and Maryland, which is fine, but well below his normally impressive average. He then played below his means against rival Michigan in his own stadium, giving up the B1G conference title hopes. He completed 64.6% of his passes while throwing 2 TDs and 2 INTs. That stat line is not really that terrible, but combined with the rest of his November, I was concerned. Meanwhile, other QBs had phenomenal Novembers.


Ohio State squeaked into the College Football Playoffs by the skin of their teeth. Stroud was about to face his biggest challenge yet and I didn't have an ounce of confidence in him.


He absolutely proved me wrong. Against the best defensive program I have ever seen in my lifetime, Stroud SHINED. He completed over 67% of his passes while throwing 4 scores and 0 interceptions. He also ran for 34 yards, notching the 2nd highest rushing total in his career. His passer rating was an astounding 192.4. They lost the game on a late surge by the now back-to-back National Champions. But the performance from Stroud will be hard for skeptics to forget.


Even if his performance against Georgia is his ceiling, I believe he is a NFL QB. But he absolutely cannot revert back to where he was in November. Looking at the past two seasons, those rough (not really rough - just average) games are outliers and weather was definitely a factor in at least one of them. Even despite the QB S2 COG Test, I believe the opinion of CJ Stroud remains high.


He ranked #1 overall in my stat formulas, finishing

#3 in Strength of Schedule (despite a weak B1G)

#2 in TD/INT ratio

#2 in ESPN Passer Rating

#2 in Sacks per Passing Attempt


The fact that he put up similar numbers in 2021 is also important - he is consistent. I worry about his running ability, but as all the great ones have proven, elite passing abilities can make your run game irrelevant. I think it would be a fireable offense for any GM to not take Stroud at #2 if they have a need at QB. If the Texans don't believe in Stroud, they will have significant offers to trade back. Drafting another player instead of getting Stroud or getting what they can out of the pick would be foolish. I think the gap between Hooker and Stroud is smaller than people think, but I do think that Stroud has shown enough to ensure confidence from NFL Scouts. The injury to Hooker's knee makes the decision even easier.


We are two weeks away from the launch of our Fantasy Football Podcast. Our podcast is unique in the fact that we will be focusing on the Fantasy Football Playoffs all year long. Our first episode will be our response to the draft. The NFL Schedule comes out on 5/11 and we will have an outline for what Week 15 will look like. Listen to other podcasts if you want to make the playoffs. Listen to our podcast if you want to win them.



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