2017 NFL Draft Hats: Ranking the Best and Worst Designs

It’s the most overlooked ritual of the first round of the NFL Draft: After the phone call with team staff, but before Roger Goodell’s tearful embrace on stage, each selected player receives a printed jersey. looking forward to his new team… and an ugly hat.

New Era has released this year’s On Stage 59FIFTY hats for draft picks to wear in the first round, and they’re nothing if not true to a long history of unorthodox designs in the genre. The product description page touts an “oversized wraparound team logo” on a “metallic leatherette visor,” and as you’ll see below, that choice has had mixed results.

If you want to look like your team’s first pick, you can buy all 32 teams’ draft night hats here. Below, we’ve ranked the 10 best and 10 worst lids.

Top 10

10. Broncos

You’ll notice a theme here: most of the tight-angled shots of the main logo are folded over the edge in a way that makes it very difficult to tell what you’re looking at without checking the emblem directly above. This one at least helps center the piercing orange eye of the horse. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

9. Bengals


I’ve always admired the Bengals’ commitment to tiger stripes. This edge/emblem combo embraces this year’s odd format just enough to make it work. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

8. Dolphins


Sure, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s on the rim, but at least there’s a good sample of Miami’s unique official colors here. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

7. Crows


This single red eye swollen five times its original size is delightfully creepy. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

6. Chargers


I don’t know how LA got off so easily, but coming out of this process with nothing but your traditional logo and “Chargers” spelled out on the edge is a net positive. (The underside of the brim is another matter.) Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

5. Leos


The accented mane and fangs the Lions added in 2009 are the kinds of details this hat was designed for. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

4. Eagles


Giant midnight green eye on a bird of prey: pretty cool. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.



Giant action green eye on a bird of prey: even cooler! Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

2. Buccaneers


Which side of the beak is more pointed, the straight skull standing alone on top or the crossed swords below? Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

1. Jaguars


If it were up to us, the whole hat would be teal. As is, accents help make the best of a bad situation. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

Last 10

10. Bear


With the bear’s jaws tucked under the rim, the vibe we get from the eyes is a little less menacing roar and a little more existential dread. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

9. Packers


Turns out the letter “G” doesn’t look like much when split into latitude. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

8. Cowboys


The bill doesn’t really look like a star, but at least it really doesn’t look like anything? Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

7. Texas


The asymmetrical Houston logo was always going to be a difficult task for the designers of this hat. Should they have centered the design on the bull’s star-shaped eye? It’s supposed to be an eye, right? Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

6. Saintes


I don’t know what this oversized fleur-de-lis looks like on the edge, but it does look like a fleur-de-lis. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

5. Giants


I realize for the first time how close the font of the Giants is to the lowercase letters of M&M’s. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

4. Redskins


Simply not. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

3. Jets


Not a single letter on the top edge is 100% readable. Great job, everyone. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

2. Adventurers


There must be a reason the silver and black shield wasn’t super close-up, but I’m having a hard time understanding what it could be. If you want to zoom in on the facial features of an NFL logo, you have to zoom in on the eye patch, right? Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

1. The NFL Shield


What is the target market for this? Big fans of the officials? Although if Roger Goodell comes out to announce the first pick wearing one of these, all is forgiven. Available at Fanatics, $39.99.

Comments are closed.