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Sean McVay is set to skip the NFL scouting combine again

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By: JasonDalessandro

Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Since 2020, McVay has missed the NFL Combine in an effort to acclimate with new staff hires and dive into tape

The Los Angeles Rams had one of the best drafts of recent memory, selecting rookie sensations like Byron Young, as well as Defensive and Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates Kobie Turner and Puca Nacua. LA was able to find these talented players in the draft, while at the same time, taking a newer approach to the NFL combine and allowing their head coach Sean McVay to miss the event.

McVay confirmed his absence again for the up and coming 2024 combine last week, saying:

“I’m not going to the Combine, I think the most important thing is what the tape looks like and then what is the vetting and the human being. If there’s anything that has consistently become clear when you reflect on the seven years and as [General Manager] Les [Snead] and I, and really our organization, continue to identify the types of players that we want in our building, and really types of people in general, it’s people that are tough. It’s people that cannot allow the outside circumstances to dictate their response. But there’s a steadiness, there’s a commitment to core values and principles, they love football, they want to keep the main thing the main thing.”

Since 2020, LA’s head coach Sean McVay has opted to skip the NFL’s Scouting Combine, choosing instead to spend the time acclimating with new coaching hires, and trusting the tape of players on the field instead. This would make sense considering the Rams coaching staff has consistently been picked over each offseason since McVay’s arrival in the NFL, and there are usually multiple new hires coming into the Los Angeles facility.

It’s not that McVay does not value the information gained from the Combine, but instead, is just more focused on what the players are able to do on the field rather than “track and field” moves.

“Then as it relates to just the evaluation, the tape is the best guide.” McVay continued “I do think that those other things are good metrics, but we’re asking guys to play football not run track and field. It is something that’s a measurable, but it’s not as important as some of the other things for us.”

McVay continued in his explanation:

“And then you say, OK, part of it is location, traveling to Indy and back. We have such trust in our scouting staff with the vetting and the background they’ve done. There’s value in it, so I don’t want it to be misunderstood that there’s not. But if you said we’re able to stay back, stay at home, really dive into the film and the tape — which ends up being the best indicator for how we evaluate these players — we just felt like it was more efficiently utilized in terms of our time staying back.”

General Manager Les Snead, who also does not attend the combine, seemingly agreed with McVay, saying:

“A lot of us came to realize that you’d be in the building at Indy and be like, ‘What did that guy run?’” Demoff said. “And then you’d look up at NFL Network and they’d tell you. And you’re like, ‘Why did I fly here to watch the NFL Network when I could have done that back at home?’”

The Rams have made the playoffs two out of the last three years, with a Super Bowl victory and one of the best draft classes of 2023, so whatever they are doing in their process seems to be working. Los Angeles will currently draft 19th overall in the first round of the 2024 draft. The team has not drafted in the first-round since 2016 when they took QB Jared Goff. It will also be the first time in McVay’s head coaching tenure that he will get to take a player in the opening round.