The NFL is set to change its rule on jersey numbers after many years and a few Raiders could take advantage of the change. These new rules would allow:
- Running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends to wear 1-49, 80-89
- Defensive backs to wear 1-49
- Linebackers to wear 1-59, 90-99
These new rules offer some Raiders players the chance to return to the numbers they wore in college. Here are five Raiders who could make a switch back to an old number.
Switching from “27” to “1”
A move that seems likely to happen, Mullen has been pondering the potential switch on Twitter recently. The Clemson standout would become just the second player in Raiders history to wear the jersey number. Only Ronald Curry has ever worn the number in a game. One of the cooler-looking jersey numbers in the game, this would be a nice change.
Switching from “20” to “3”
While at Ohio State, Damon Arnette wore number three for all four years of his colligate career. The corner would have some work to do if he aims to become the best player to wear this number as former quarterback Daryle Lamonica donned it from 1967-1974. It may be strange at first, but having two cornerbacks wearing single digits would be a cool look for the Raiders’ defense.
Switching from “41” to “17”
While Kenyan Drake has not yet worn a Raiders jersey, he wore numbers 41 with the Cardinals and 32 with Dolphins. The new rules however would allow him to return to his college number of 17. This may not be a popular number choice in the history of the Raiders, Drake would be competing with the likes of Denarius Moore and Tim Dwight for “17” bragging rights. This is a number that would look strange, but the running back has shown he is not great at picking jersey numbers as of late.
Switching from “44” to “35”
A player who has never chosen traditional linebacker numbers, Kwiatkowski could return to his old 35 this season. He wore the number for four years at West Virginia racking up almost 300 tackles. Running back Hewritt Dixon became an All-Pro in 1968 while wearing the number.
Switching from “87” to “18”
One of the most prestigious numbers in LSU history, it is considered an honor to wear the number 18. Moreau could choose to return to this number in 2021, even if it would look strange on a tight end. While Randy Moss is the most well-known 18 in Raiders history, kicker Jeff Jaeger actually had the most success, playing for the Silver and Black for seven years.
Jersey numbers often become synonymous with the players that wear them. When fans think of players such as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, the iconic “12” and “18” always come to mind. While the new rule will certainly take some getting used to, it opens the door for many more iconic player-number pairings.
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