Thursday, May 2, 2013

Predicting The Top Selling NFL Jerseys of The Class of '13

Robert Griffin the third had a truly remarkable rookie season. He lead the Redskins to the NFC East title, was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team and took home the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, beating out other worthy contestants like Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson along the way. But his most impressive feat of his rookie campaign didn’t even come on the football field.

It came in the department stores.

Griffin’s #10 Redskins jersey was the highest selling jersey in league history, beating out popular veterans like Peyton Manning, Ray Lewis, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. And although the exact sales numbers from were not revealed by the NFL, chances are you saw a lot of burgundy and gold in 2012.

Last week the NFL welcomed 254 new players into the pigskin fraternity over the course of the league’s three day, seven round, Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York. And although there may not be another RGIII in the bunch, there are plenty of players whose jersey’s are going to be flying off the shelves this fall.

Here’s a look at some of the contenders for the top selling rookie jersey of the Class of ’13.

Dion Jordan- DE, Dolphins

The Fins’ made Neon Dion the first defense player off the board when they traded the 12th and 42nd picks for the chance to snag Jordan 3rd overall, and the fans in South Beach couldn’t be happier. The former tight end has the size (6’6) and speed (4.6 40) to wreck havoc on the outside, and will be one the few big fish in an otherwise small talent pond on the Miami roster. With the loss of Reggie Bush (via free agency to the Lions), Dolphins fans are going to be licking at the chops to find a new player to get behind. Expect Dion to become the poster child for Miami’s new digs.

Geno Smith- QB, Jets

If there’s one thing Jets fans have no problem doing, its spending money to support their unproven quarterbacks. Last year backup QB Tim Tebow’s #15 jersey came out of the gates hot, reaching the #1 spot in league-wide jersey sales before eventually dropping off to 13th. That was still ten spots ahead of league MVP Adrian Peterson (23rd in the NFL). Not bad for a guy who threw eight passes all season.

Regardless of whether or not Geno usurps Sanchez for the starting spot week by week 1, you can expect to see a sea of Smith jerseys at the Meadowlands.

Tavon Austin- WR, Rams

Let’s just put it this way- if Nelly and the St. Lunatics ever decide to make a comeback in the rap game, there’s no question that Tavon Austin is going to be their Ram’s uni of choice for their music videos. The two-time Big East Special Teams Player of the Year skyrocketed up draft boards after the receiver ran a 4.3 40 at the combine. You can expect Austin’s Rams jersey to fly off the racks just as fast.

Manti Te’O- LB, Chargers

His girlfriend may not have existed, but the Te’O jerseys are going to be for real and in full effect this fall at Qualcomm. A 100+ tackle season would go a long way to putting that scandal in the rear view mirror, but regardless of production, you know Notre Dame nation will be backing Manti in the powder blue and white. Mix that with the large Samoan population in San Diego and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a top selling jersey.

E.J. Manuel- QB, Bills

Say what you want about the barbaric fans of the Buffalo Bills, but few crowds show up to week 1 with a bigger sense of false hope than our friends by the Falls. Which means they won’t be able to keep their hands off the new jersey of their  “QB of the future”, E.J. Manuel, out of Florida State. The Bills traded down on draft night to select the 6’5, Senior Bowl MVP, and they’re keeping their fingers crossed that their investment pays off.

But even if Manuel falters from the start, the pick may end up being a better investment than the jersey. I hear Buffalo wing sauce is a real pain in the ass to wash out. 

This article also ran on 

-fresh (@danye33)

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