Nike makes key signings ahead of NFL draft
Nike has signed some top NFL rookies in preparation for the April 27 draft, including Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.
An obvious first-round selection, some scouts have pegged dual-threat Watson as the top QB prospect in the draft. Insiders said Nike had the 21-year-old Georgia native tabbed as a “must-have” endorser, based on a combination of his athletic ability and personality.
|Deshaun Watson has joined the Nike ranks.
In a twist of fate, Nike signed John Ross, the Washington Huskies wide receiver who set an NFL record 40-yard dash time of 4.22 seconds at this year’s NFL combine. As a marketing ploy, before the combine, Adidas promised to give an island or $1 million to anyone breaking the record of 4.24 seconds, set by Chris Johnson at the combine in 2008. Since Ross wore Nike cleats while setting the record, Adidas backed out.
Last year, Nike signed more than 15 top rookies, including the first two players selected: California’s Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams) and North Dakota State University’s Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles).
The NFL draft is set for April 27 in Philadelphia, where it’s being held for the first time since 1960.