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Ranking 2020 NFL draft day hats: Believe it or not, Rams are far from most hideous

Rams cap
The new Rams logo has received a lot of criticism, but it actually looks quite nice on the 2020 draft day cap.
(Shone / New Era)
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The NFL draft is taking place as scheduled in a few weeks, but it’s going to be quite different from what we’ve come to expect. We can thank the COVID-19 pandemic for that.

The event will still be televised, but participating parties, from commissioner Roger Goodell on down, will be taking part from separate remote locations.

It’s going to take some getting used to but, thankfully, there is at least one tradition that remains alive and well, even in these unprecedented times — draft day hats!

Earlier this week, New Era released the official event caps for 29 of the league’s 32 teams (those of the Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming later this month).

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(Note: The rankings have been updated with the April 7 release of the Buccaneers’ cap.)

The NFL draft is still set for April 23-25, but the coronavirus outbreak is forcing the league to adopt a different approach to announcing picks.

Of course, no one will get to see our favorite teams’ future stars wearing them while posing for photos with Goodell. But at least fans can wear them with pride as they watch every minute of the three-day draft (you all do that too, right?).

Speaking of traditions, no pandemic is going to stop us from ranking each of those draft day hats, from snazziest to most hideous. This year, every team’s cap is black with a large logo (“in bold, accentuated colors,” according to a New Era news release) in front and a team slogan on the side.

The result was a number of very sharp hats, along with some that are solid if not all that exciting ... and only a few disasters.

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1. Philadelphia Eagles
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Philadelphia Eagles
(Shone / New Era)

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The Eagles bounce back spectacularly after landing at No. 29 in last year’s ranking. And they do so with a design that manages to be both bold and understated. The same can be said about all of the caps in the top five.

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2. Carolina Panthers
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Carolina Panthers
(Borko / New Era)

(Speaking of bouncing back spectacularly, the Panthers rebound after finishing dead last a year ago.)

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3. Seattle Seahawks
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Seattle Seahawks
(Shone / New Era)

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4. Denver Broncos
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Denver Broncos
(Borko / New Era)

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5. Houston Texans
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Houston Texans
(Borko / New Era)

The next group features teams with logos that stand out and look great against the black background. And, believe it or not, this includes the Rams and their sometimes-criticized new logo.

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6. Miami Dolphins
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Miami Dolphins
(Shone / New Era)

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7. Tennessee Titans
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Tennessee Titans
(Shone / New Era)

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8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Darko / New Era)

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9. Los Angeles Rams
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Los Angeles Rams
(Shone / New Era)

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10. Minnesota Vikings
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Minnesota Vikings
(Shone / New Era)

For some teams, the simple approach works best, including the organization with last year’s top-ranked hat, the Arizona Cardinals.

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11. Arizona Cardinals
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Arizona Cardinals
(Borko / New Era)

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12. Kansas City Chiefs
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Kansas City Chiefs
(Borko / New Era)

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13. Los Angeles Chargers
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Los Angeles Chargers
(Shone / New Era)

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14. San Francisco 49ers
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San Francisco 49ers
(Shone / New Era)

Other teams might have gone a bit overboard but still came away with nice-looking hats.

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15. Jacksonville Jaguars
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Jacksonville Jaguars
(Borko / New Era)

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16. Baltimore Ravens
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Baltimore Ravens
(Borko / New Era)

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Nothing wrong with this next group. Nothing terribly exciting about it either.

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17. Buffalo Bills
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Buffalo Bills
(Borko / New Era)

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18. New England Patriots
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New England Patriots
(Shone / New Era)

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19. Detroit Lions
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Detroit Lions
(Borko / New Era)

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20. Pittsburgh Steelers
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Pittsburgh Steelers
(Shone / New Era)

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21. Cincinnati Bengals
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Cincinnati Bengals
(Borko / New Era)

Not much to be said about the next group. Just a bunch of hats with logos — chances are fans of these teams already have similar caps (albeit without the slogans on the side).

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22. Green Bay Packers
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Green Bay Packers
(Borko / New Era)

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23. New York Jets
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New York Jets
(Shone / New Era)

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24. Dallas Cowboys
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Dallas Cowboys
(Borko / New Era)

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25. Indianapolis Colts
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Indianapolis Colts
(Borko / New Era)

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26. New Orleans Saints
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New Orleans Saints
(New Era)

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27. New York Giants
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New York Giants
(Shone / New Era)

And now for the disasters ...

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28. Washington Redskins
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Washington Redskins
(Shone / New Era)

This could have worked but the burgundy parts of the logo blend too much into the black background.

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29. Chicago Bears
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Chicago Bears
(Borko / New Era)

Can see what they were going for, but yikes!

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30. Cleveland Browns
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Cleveland Browns
(Borko / New Era)

The Browns have no logo so they went with one that was retired 50 years ago. But that’s not the issue. That logo came out as an unrecognizable mess, much like the Bears’. And the Browns were docked for lack of effort with the slogan, which is simply the team name.


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Chuck Schilken is a multiplatform editor and sports writer for the Los Angeles Times.