The focus of the Senior Bowl has shifted this year for general manager Les Snead.
Last season, the Rams had previously traded their first-round pick and were looking to kick start a period of growth under first-year head coach Sean McVay — after going 4-12 in 2016. For those reasons, the Senior Bowl offered a unique opportunity for Snead and the rest of his staff to scout several of the draft's more underrated players.
But Snead came into the annual event with a different mentality this year. In 2017, the Rams were crowned NFC West champions for the first time since 2003. And with one division title in hand, the Rams are approaching this week's events in a new light.
"It's definitely different," Snead said. "Guess what? We're division champs and we want to continue being division champs, so this Senior Bowl is big in how do we replenish? How do we stay in that window?"
While the focus may have changed, what Snead likes so much about the Senior Bowl has remained the same. The Rams staff is eager to evaluate the elite level of competition and scout out players who may have gone unnoticed if a game like this did not exist.
"Let's take Cooper Kupp for example," he said. "He got here last year from Day 1 and he looked like he belonged. Went to the Combine where it's a little less football and he didn't look like he belonged. But clearly he did, and that's what's cool about this Senior Bowl."