The NFL Scouting Combine has been a staple of the league's offseason since 1985. It provides teams with opportunities to see college prospects up close and interview potential draft picks. It may also be a bit worthless in 2020.
At least that's how the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams feel. The two franchises have decided to cut back on sending staff to Indianapolis for the combine, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who reports the Rams and Broncos feel they can make better use of their time at home than they could at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Broncos will not be sending any assistant coaches to the combine, while the Rams are declining to send their offensive and defensive coordinators.
Head coaches Sean McVay and Vic Fangio will each attend the opening day of the combine to fulfill media obligations but won't be sticking around too long.
The Broncos hold the 17th overall pick and are coming off a 7-9 season in the first year of Fangio's tenure. They also play in an AFC West that's been taken over by the Kansas City Chiefs and their rise to Super Bowl champions.
It certainly makes sense Denver would want to try charting a new offseason course to shake things up. Instead of attending the combine, Fangio's assistants will be watching film and studying prospects from home. The Rams, who traded away their first-round pick to acquire Jalen Ramsey, will keep their offensive and defensive coordinators in Los Angeles to work on installing their new schemes, per Schefter, who also notes the Broncos assistants will have access to the private interviews led by the team's reps in Indianapolis.
The combine has begun losing its luster over the past few years. In 2019, Kyler Murray declined to participate in on-field events at the combine en route to becoming the No. 1 overall draft pick. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has already announced he won't throw at the combine as he recovers from hip surgery, but he may do so at Alabama's pro day this spring.
With so much video available, as well as college teams hosting their own pro days, the value of getting all of college football's best players together for a workout is decreasing. And that's before considering some the the league's biggest stars weren't even invited to the combine.
Seattle's Doug Baldwin, Tennessee's Malcolm Butler, New England's Julian Edelman, Denver's Chris Harris and Minnesota's Adam Thielen all became megastars in the NFL despite not getting an invite to the combine.
The combine may be on the verge of a generational shift. The Rams and Broncos look like they're getting ahead of that curve.