NFL Style Rankings: Homecoming fits, big swings and tributes in Week 11

One thing I have learned is covering NFL players and their styles: The weather will never stop them.

Snow goggles in sunny Los Angeles? Exposed chest and arms in arctic Green Bay? We have both in this week’s edition of the NFL Style Rankings, in addition to several players who played their first games in the cities they’re from. And, of course, they had to do it big for their friends and family.

Some players took big swings this week with their fashion choices, while others used their catwalk to shine a light on matters bigger than themselves and the game. The latter were commended for doing so.

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10. Derwin James

Oakley gave the Los Angeles Chargers safety his pick of any sunglasses, and he went with the green ski goggles. Living in Los Angeles — a city that gets no snow — it was an interesting decision, to say the least. However, it all works together because the dark green shades are a perfect match to the lining of his jacket and kicks for the game. He couldn’t have nailed that portion of this any better.

James zagged where others would have zagged, and combined with the color coordination, that’ll do it around these parts.

I’m hoping this is the start of men bringing back scarves and afghans around their necks. I’m so here for it, although the Green Bay Packers wide receiver may want a lot more than a satin or silk scarf around his neck when it’s less than 20 degrees in Green Bay. For the temperatures ahead of the Packers’ Thursday Night Game against the Tennessee Titansmaybe having his chest out and short sleeves in freezing cold temperatures wasn’t the best idea.

Is this outfit stylish? Without question. Is it practical? Under no set of circumstances.

If anyone wants an example of how to match the materials and colors in an outfit, look no further than that Detroit Lions linebacker. The gray hat matches the trench coat, while Rodriguez perfectly nails the distressed look of his brown shoes, belt and duffle bag. And he allows those items to be the standout with a simple white turtleneck and dark trousers. Tremendous attention to detail.

You know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think that Pittsburgh Steelers receiver played for the Cincinnati Bengals thanks to the Louis Vuitton sweater he decided to wear. I was nowhere near alone in my thinking, as Steelers fans wondered the same thing out loud, especially since the game was in the Steel City.

While I like the sweater, what tickles me is knowing Louis Vuitton’s catalog and the fashion house could have fitted him with something in Steelers colors.

Playing in his native Baltimore for the first time in his career, the Carolina Panthers tight end stepped into M&T Bank Stadium with a Baltimore Banners hockey jersey. Founded by The Tender Bridge, Inc. almost two decades ago, the nonprofit’s mission is to provide alternative options to inner-city and marginalized children in East Baltimore. The organization put the Digital Harbor High School alum and teammate Tommy Tremble in custom jerseys when the Panthers visited the Baltimore Ravens.

For those who don’t know, the kit is designed to match the flag of Baltimorea design also seen in Maryland’s state flag.

Now, this is a fit that Prince himself would have approved, as the Dallas Cowboys linebacker looks every part of the musician’s famous song, “Purple Rain.” These are the kind of royal purple tresses fit for a king — or maybe a player looking to add Defensive Player of the Year to his trophy case.

Parsons rained down on Kirk Cousins’ parade all day Sunday, sacking the Minnesota Vikings quarterback twice and hitting him five times in the Cowboys 40-3 demolition on the road.

4. Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Everything about this combination does it for me. The theme of black and gray effortlessly put together. The black stripes on the left arm of his elongated suit jacket and the left pants leg. The layering of the necklaces on the Kansas City Chiefs wideout, which went hand in hand with the bracelet on his right wrist.

But what caught my eye in the midst of all that? A Cuban link on his left ankle? I am all for men wearing more ankle bracelets. I really am, and I applaud Valdes-Scantling for a phenomenal job when it came to linking all the tiers of his outfit together.

3. Fletcher Cox

Aww shucks! If the men start wearing more animal print suits, it’s really over in these style rankings. The Philadelphia Eagles defensive end got adventurous on us with a dark-blue leopard print suit jacket and steel blue pants to match.

A standard gray mock for this kind of outfit? Ahh, so close, but I love the suit so much beyond that one element that he’s getting credit for.

2. Donovan Peoples-Jones

This is exactly the kind of homecoming outfit I’d expect a Detroit native to wear his first time playing at home. Thanks to a massive snowstorm in Buffalo at the end of last week, the Cleveland Browns’ game against the Buffalo Bills was relocated to Ford Field. This allowed the Browns receiver an opportunity to break out his Sunday best in the form of an all-white suit with a fog-colored tie.

A closer look at the suit, and it almost appears to be velvet, which would truly be an avant-garde choice. The Michigan Wolverines product hauled in five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown in his return home.

1. Jelani Woods (and other former University of Virginia players)

As much as these style rankings are about highlighting the marvelously or adventurously dressed players of the NFL, they are also about recognizing those who use the catwalk for moments bigger than themselves. Clothes can always be used as a vehicle to bring awareness to matters of importance or to make a statement. This Sunday marked a week since three Virginia football players — Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry — were killed on Nov. 13.

Former Virginia players, including Indianapolis Colts tight end Jelani Woods, Colts safety Rodney McLeod and Chiefs safety Juan Thornhillused their runway shots to honor the three players who died in the shooting. They did so with shirts or hoodies and with cleats donning the late players’ numbers.

(Photo of Micah Parsons: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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