With the offseason fully underway, we’ve now seen what jersey numbers will be worn by which members of the Las Vegas Raiders.
As everyone knows, a player’s jersey number is the biggest indicator of how good a player is. In all seriousness, jersey numbers do hold weight in sports. Regardless of how silly it may seem, certain numbers mean more to certain teams such as Michael Jordan’s ’23’ and Jackie Robinson’s ’42.’ For the Raiders, these numbers include ’24, 32, and 12.’ With that said, let’s look at what the Raiders’ newest players will be wearing.
The Raiders’ rookies
For the rookies especially, they must select a good number and get their careers off to a good start. Having made seven selections in the NFL draft, they will be wearing these digits in 2021.
- Alex Leatherwood: 70
- Trevon Moehrig: 25
- Malcolm Koonce: 51
- Divine Deablo: 49
- Tyree Gillespie: 37
- Nate Hobbs: 39
- Jimmy Morrissey: 65
To put it simply, this is a strange group of jersey numbers. After the relaxation of jersey number restrictions, it was expected that Moehrig would take his college number in ‘7.’ Instead, he opts for ’25’ which is actually a notable offensive number in Raiders history. Having been worn by legends Fred Biletnikoff and Charlie Garner, fans hope Moehrig will have a similar impact.
The only other number on this list that lives in Raider lore is ’37.’ Most notably worn by the legendary Lester Hayes, ’37’ is an unorthodox number throughout the NFL. Gillespie will be one of the few players in the league to don the number, but it is a fun Raiders throwback.
The free agents
While the Raiders signed many players, here are what some of the most notable players will be wearing this season.
- John Brown: 15
- Willie Snead Jr.: 17
- Kenyan Drake: 23
- Karl Joseph: 43
- Yannick Ngakoue: 91
- Solomon Thomas: 92
It appears new wide receiver, John Brown, has done his homework on Derek Carr and his relationship with the number ’15.’ Since his days at Fresno State, he has shown an affinity for targeting players with this number on their jerseys. Davante Adams, Michael Crabtree, and Nelson Agholor all enjoyed productive seasons in the digit with Carr as the passer. He even found J.J. Nelson for a touchdown while he wore the number. John Brown will hope this lucky jersey carries over to him as well.
In Karl Joseph’s return to the Raiders, he will have to do so in a different number. In his first go-round in the Silver and Black, he wore ’42’ which is currently occupied by linebacker Cory Littleton. Instead, he will be wearing ’43.’ This number almost fits his playstyle better as it is the same one worn by the legendary George Atkinson.
The Raiders’ biggest free-agent addition, Yannick Ngakoue, got to keep his jersey number with ’91.’ A number with a relatively short history for the Raiders was most notably worn by DT Chester McGlockton who was selected to four Pro Bowls while wearing the number.
In a season with relaxed number rules, many players had a chance to go back to their college roots and change their numbers. However, only Clelin Ferrell will be doing so. Switching from “96” to “99”, the Raiders will hope he can return to the same level of player he was at Clemson as well.
While a player’s jersey number will not be the deciding factor in whether or not a player succeeds, it’s always fun to see what the newest payer decides to wear. The Raiders will hope they will be seeing these jersey numbers on the backs of fans for years to come.
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*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal