Avoiding NFL Combine is tradition for LA Rams Les Snead, Sean McVay

Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

If you were a member of the LA Rams scouting departing department, you will probably pay no heed to the itinerary of the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine to be held March 1-7, 2022.  In fact, you are probably not even paying attention to the plans of other NFL teams when the NFL Scouting Combine starts making the headlines. You see, for the third year in a row, the Rams organization is traveling to the beat of a different drum.

The LA Rams organization will not send a full complement of scouts, coaches, and executives to the NFL Scouting Combine, and has not done so for the past three years. Instead, the team will digest copious amounts of measurable data. Whatever the team is not provided as part of the standard packable of an NFL Draft profile, they will have some field scouts on the scene to gather that data, make direct contact, and round out the data needed to complete the draft profile.

But no, the LA Rams will not be sending GM Les Snead nor head coach Sean McVay to the NFL Scouting Combine in 2022.

This new tradition of not attending the NFL Scouting Combine began due to former defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, who suggested that unique approach after discussing the matter with then Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio in 2020. The coaches and executives agreed, and the Rams opted to do the entire seven-day event via virtual format.

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Day 3 Data Analytics Draft

That was a wise decision. Not only did the team fast-track the virtual technology necessary to operate in 2020, but the Rams approach was adopted by the entire NFL the following year in 2021. Even as the NFL seems to embrace a return to the more traditional face-to-face format of the past, the Rams seem to have switched their approach to retain a more data-driven analytics version of the NFL Scouting Combine and ultimately, the NFL Draft.

Of course, from the more pragmatic perspective, the LA Rams are not picking among the Top-100 draft picks (from 255 selections), so this may simply be a decision of saving costs for limited return. By the time the Rams choose, all other 31 NFL teams will have selected at least twice, with more than a handful of teams adding five rookies to their roster.

From a realistic perspective, perhaps the Rams believe it’s not worth the risk of seeing a player who they covet only to watch him join the ranks of another NFL team? After all, players selected in rounds four through seven are traditionally viewed as developmental players who could add to special teams in their rookie season. Although in a series of 2022 Mock Drafts already published, the results afford plenty of optimism for the Rams to find some contributors even deep into day three.

The Rams are already up to the NFL Scouting Combine. This offseason is already flying by. Stay tuned…

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