NFL draft: Johnny Manziel, Michael Sam have highest-selling rookie jerseys
The 2014 NFL draft is in the books, but the excitement for fans surrounding their teams' latest additions is just getting started. One way to gauge the initial enthusiasm of different fan bases is examining jersey sales from draft weekend, and this year it was Johnny Manziel who topped the list after the Cleveland Browns made him their No. 22 overall pick.
According to the NFL jersey numbers obtained by Cyd Zeigler of Outsports.com, Manziel topped the list, with seventh-round selection Michael Sam coming in second.
The top five was as follows:
1. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns
2. Michael Sam, St. Louis Rams
3. Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans
4. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings
5. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
It is no surprise that quarterbacks and the No. 1 overall pick dominated the jersey sales, but Michael Sam's place near the top is both far from ordinary and reflective of the early support from the St. Louis fan base and large sections of the NFL community. Being selected by a franchise based just a few hours away from the University of Missouri, where Sam played his college ball, can only help.
"This is unprecedented for a Day 3 pick, let alone a seventh round pick, to crack the top five rookies sold following draft weekend," NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter told OutSports.
For Manziel, the buzz in Cleveland has been so great that his jersey sales have blown away other recent quarterbacks who entered the league on waves of hype and media scrutiny. ESPN's Darren Rovell reported Monday that Manziel's jersey is currently the top seller among all NFL jerseys since April 1.
Manziel sold nearly as many jerseys during Draft Weekend as RGIII, Luck & Tebow did during their draft weekend combined. — darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 12, 2014