I have had my calendar marked for April 2012 ever since I heard the announcement that Nike would then be replacing Reebok as the official supplier of uniforms, apparel and sideline gear for all 32 NFL teams. With all the hype that Nike created with their technology and design on the college football level, I could only imagine what they would do at the professional level. Well, my friends that day has finally arrived. The Nike Elite 51 unis are here.

If you're expecting something as extremely outrageous as the Oregon unis, you may be a little disappointed, but don't get it twisted, Nike definitely came correct with their take on the new NFL gear from a technical standpoint. While the cosmetic aspect of the new unis are subtle, the most significant changes come in the form of new lightweight fabrics and an overall sleeker look. These changes were applied to the jerseys, pants, compression pieces and shoes to all work together in harmony with the base gear and padding that players wear underneath the uniform that we all see from the outside.

From a design standpoint, the Seattle Seahawks saw some of the most drastic changes (which may have something to do with Nike's strong northwest roots) while other teams maintained their classic look. Naturally, the first team I clicked to was the New Orleans Saints and while the only real noticeable change was on the neckline, the black-on-black Saints uni looks as intimidating as ever with just the right amount of gold accenting to represent the official colors of the Who Dat Nation.

I honestly think people will be most excited about Nike's new Vapor Jet 2.0 gloves (seen above) which feature the team's logo on the palms when a player's hands are interlocked. (Touchdown camera opportunities anyone?)

In addition to the fabrics being stronger and 30-40% lighter, some other key features include light padding on "hit zones", Nike's flywire technology on the neckline and a four-way stretch fabric that offers a compressed feel without restricting the players range of motion.

In other words, it's like the players are fully protected from an outfitting standpoint, but with Nike's technology they will feel as if they are wearing nothing at all. A lot of female NFL fans would probably love that. ;)

The new jerseys will be available for purchase on the weekend of the NFL Draft from April 26-28. In addition to providing the on-the-field gear, Nike is also providing sideline gear and new team apparel that is available HERE now!

What do you think of the new Nike NFL Uniforms? Will you be getting a new jersey to represent your favorite team?

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