It is that time of year where some of the most gifted athletes in the world have their dreams realized as they are selected by NFL teams. Aside from hoisting the Lombardi, one the more iconic photographs of player's career is as they walk across the stage to anti-covid hug Roger Goodell (queue the boos). Throughout the draft process, these young men not only are put through a battery of physical tests but also go through a gauntlet of interviews to determine their character and decision making processes. Today we will analyze one of the last decisions they make, what to wear on draft day.
A few disclaimers: first and foremost, all of these analyses are solely based on what these future NFL stars decided to wear and should not be taken as a reflection of who they are as a person or as a player. Next, all players shown at home were disqualified as the range from backyard BBQ to Pickett being in a suit made the spectrum too broad to incorporate without throwing off the bell curve. Lastly, there were a few stylish gentlemen that fell out of the first round. For the purpose of this exercise, the first round draftees were ones in consideration. Now without further ado, The best and worst dressed of the NFL Draft:
Kayvon Thibodeaux- Giants- 5th overall- starting the draft as a consensus first overall, Thibodeaux saw his stock slide heading up to draft day. However, his outfit did not disappoint. The ruby gemmed trim was a stunner and one of, if not the most, memorable of the evening. One of a kind and a head turner. The lapel pin might be a little overkill with the trim but all in all solid execution. 9/10
Aidan Hutchinson- Lions- 2nd overall- After being passed on by Jacksonville for the first pick, the man in black took the stage. An ominous presence for tackles and quarterbacks alike, his black-on-black look was timeless and one which he will look back on in 15 years and won't say "what was I thinking?" The jaquard weave adds a beautiful depth to the jacket which is understated but still fashion-forward. The cherry on top? The custom lining with all of his personal journal entries where he prophesied he would be an All-American and a Heisman finalist. Only knock on this outfit is the kicks could have been dressier. 9.5/10
Jermaine Johnson- Jets- 26th overall- Does it go to 11? This jacket is not for the light-hearted. Neon lemon with an upholstery-sized floral print, was the bright spot of the draft. A beaming ray of sunshine walking across to collect his Jets hat, Johnson wore this effortlessly. The decision to have the floral pattern on the lapel instead of a black satin is one to be applauded. The custom lining with all his teams which he has played shows he hasn't forgotten where he came from. The black pants and mandarin collar shirt helped anchor this look so that it looked custom and not costume-y. 9/10
Devin Lloyd- Jaguars- 27th overall- Jermaine Johnson's yellow jacket was a hard act to follow but Devin Lloyd's aubergine suit was a master class on how to wear color without it screaming at you. The dark purple paired perfectly with black shirt and sunglass combo and allowed the chains to shimmer. The only knock is the front crotch on his slacks was way too long. 8.5/10
Ikem "Ickey" Ekwonu- Panthers- 6th overall- Often lineman who need time to grow into their frames are said to need a little sand in their pants. This is not the case with Ickey, however due to the shortness of his jacket we found "Mr. New Booty". For a big fella, this shorter jacket length made him look rounder, and the white didn't help slim him down (triple breasted suit, was it supposed to button that way?). The nod toward his Nigerian heritage was inspiring but the execution fell flat on its face. Arm flairs? No. 3.5/10
Garrett Wilson- Jets- 10th overall- This white and dove grey two-tone suit gave your humble writer PTSD of Jaylen Waddle's abortion of a suit last year. Is this a Moon Knight reference? Was this a factory mistake on sale? Top this off two lapels pins, moon boots and a flourish of pearls, maybe Wilson is century's ahead of fashion. Most likely not. 3.5/10
Jordan Davis- Eagles- 13th overall- Is that a pageant sash? Oh that is part of the suit. This black suit with cherry red stripe wasn't as loud as some of the other missteps. It just appeared to be made of the leftover tunic from Manos: Hands of Fate. Torgo! 4.5/10
George Karlaftis- Chiefs- 30th overall- On a night where we saw almost every color in the spectrum represented, Karlaftis gave us the biggest dud. Black suit, black argyle tie. Safe. Nothing was particularly wrong with this outfit, but as he walked out stage he buttoned both buttons. 5/10
- Sauce Gardner had a wonderful summery powder blue suit with sauce bottle chain, love it. He would have made the list had he not buttoned both buttons on this jacket.
- For the most part, everyone drafted at home was really casual but Kenny Pickett had a sharp bottle green suit which definitely lead the pack
- Travon Walker's uncle (or we will call him that) had a white urban safari hat that was special
- Evan Neal's charcoal suit seemed a little safe but the finish on the cloth really made the garment sing. The ROI on this suit is very high showing Leal's pragmatic side.
- Although Nakobe Dean fell to the third, his powdered-pink suit was on-point. Still trying to figure out the white holsters, but it worked.