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'I'm a big believer that the most important skill is curiosity': Rams Women's History Month Staff Showcase with Nicole Blake

As part of the Rams' celebration of Women's History Month, the organization is sharing inspiring stories of female staff changing the game for future generations.

Continuing the series is Scouting Strategist Nicole Blake.


Nicole Blake is one of the few women working in scouting in the NFL, and what got her there is what she said is the most important skill a person can have. 

"I started my career at the NFL's league office and made my way to the Rams after honing in on what I was really passionate about, which is the game and roster building and the strategic components of both of those things," Blake said. "I'm a big believer that the most important skill is curiosity – if you're truly interested in a field and let curiosity guide your work, you'll end up naturally falling into all of the knowledge and skills that you need."

Today, she helps shape those areas as Scouting Strategist for the Rams. 

Blake said her role is a blend of three buckets: General draft strategy, the Rams' scouting structure and processes, plus data and analytics. She joined the team as a consultant in 2021 while finishing grad school, but this is her second season in a full-time capacity with the organization. 

"The best part of the job is the culmination of the work, whether that's draft weekend or the season," Blake said. "Love seeing the time and effort from our entire staff come together into final decisions or an output on the field."

In terms of the importance of young people seeing women like her in her position, Blake said she thinks it's important generally to send the message to young people that they can do anything they want to do. 

"And sometimes that requires seeing people similar to them – by gender, race, hometown or some other trait – in fields that they might be interested in," Blake said. "The more smart, young people we can get involved in football, the better."

While there have been numerous women Blake has looked up to and who have influenced her in various ways – professors, former bosses, coworkers, etc. – the most influential in her career "by far" has been her mom. 

"People like to say that you can't do it all, or at least not at a high level, but she ran her own business and raised triplets with my dad without ever dropping a single ball," Blake said. "She's given me confidence from a young age that I could do the same."

For Blake, what motivates her every day is her own internal drive. 

"It's a bit cliché but I've always innately enjoyed the process of learning or growing or trying to get better, so that competition with myself often ends up being my biggest source of motivation," Blake said. "Really enjoy trying to set the bar higher."

Though Blake may be one of only a handful of women working in scouting in the league, she said it feels like there are more women getting involved in the NFL all the time since joining the Rams, "which is great." 

"I'll always be a proponent of people who love the sport and are good at what they do getting opportunities, regardless of identity," she said. "I'm fortunate to say I rarely think about or have my attention drawn to any difference in gender working with the Rams, which speaks to the quality of the organization."

When it comes to celebrating Women's History Month, Blake points to learning more about historic female figures. 

"I'm a big fan of history, and really enjoy reading about the female figures from the early 20th century – Susan B Anthony, Alice Paul - who had a huge impact on the rights that women hold today," Blake said. "Diving into their stories is a great way to celebrate."

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