New Era Tries Something Different for NFL Draft Hats (to Mixed Reviews From Fans)
Hats are an integral part of the NFL draft tradition. Just about every montage when a player retires starts with them putting on the franchise’s hat and holding up their first jersey on draft day.
Last year, things were different due to the pandemic, and the league sent each first-round prospect a full set of 32 New Era caps so they could still keep the tradition alive from home.
This year, players will be back at the event in person, but there will still be a new look when it comes to the hats. For the first time, the hats will be trucker style, with a fitted mesh back, which apparently is an homage to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where the draft is taking place.
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) April 12, 2021
The designs for each time are also much more subdued, after some years’ designs were pretty eye-catching. Each one has the franchise’s name and logo embroidered in the center, with stars flanking the name. Behind each franchise name is a black and gray, sort of zoomed-in look at the logo.
The reviews have been mixed from various fanbases. Some fans love the simple look or the trucker style, and others think it’s outdated.
The Bears hat for the NFL draft would’ve looked great on Rex Grossman in 2003. pic.twitter.com/aPzjEJ6Wkb
— Kevin Kaduk (@KevinKaduk) April 9, 2021
The fact nobody at New Era or the NFL thought “hey, maybe let’s not have the white outline go through the team brand” is bad... pic.twitter.com/ZsHkIKpaXo
— Fooser Sports Design (@FooserSports) April 9, 2021
The Eagles' 2021 NFL Draft hats are here. Let's hope the team doesn't mesh it all up in a few weeks. https://t.co/49y8QYbVWY
— PhillyVoice (@thephillyvoice) April 11, 2021
— Kurt Haumesser (@KurtHaumesser88) April 9, 2021
— Owen Kidd (@OKiddVT) April 9, 2021
You can’t please everyone all the time. Once draft day happens, and the actual prospects throw on those hats, fans will have plenty of other things to celebrate or get upset about. They’ll forget all about the hats (or, if they like them, they'll buy one for themselves). For the players, they’ll remain precious keepsakes from one of the biggest nights of their lives.
And, you know, credit to New Era for trying something new.