nfl draft


From Lamar Jackson to Sauce Gardner, NFL draft fashion evolves over time

  • April 28, 2023

HOUSTON (AP) — Deion Sanders became the NFL draft’s first fashion icon by accessorizing a black and white track suit with loads of sparkling gold jewelry and dark shades when he took the call from the Atlanta Falcons before they selected him fifth overall in 1989.

As memorable as Sanders’ draft swag remains, wearing a track suit on draft night or the jean shorts Brett Favre wore would be scoffed at today with top players gathering for a televised event that has become as much runway show as sporting event.

While top prospects in this year’s draft like quarterbacks Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson and defensive lineman Will Anderson Jr. prepare their fits for the big night, we look back at some of the most memorable draft night ensembles since the splash by Sanders.

Ray Lewis chose a flashy Versace look when the Ravens took him in the first round in 1996. The linebacker rocked a silk shirt, belt and sunglasses by the designer with white slacks as he helped usher in the move from casual draft night clothes to more sophisticated looks.

Over the next decade, most players made the transition to suits, but they were more going to church with your grandma looks than high fashion statement pieces.

Then came 2016 and running back Ezekiel Elliott’s bold choice of a crop top tuxedo shirt when the Dallas Cowboys took him fourth overall. He stunned on the red carpet when he unbuttoned his suit jacket to reveal his bare, toned abs, raising the bar for draft night fashion surprises.

The following season, safety Jamal Adams shined in a white windowpane patterned, double-breasted suit when he was taken at No. 6 by the Jets.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson took a page out of Lewis’s book by going

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