Predicting the jersey numbers of NFL draft picks is an art, especially due to the fact that many collegiate players don integers outside of their position group’s imposed limits at the next level. I wouldn’t consider myself an artist.
Instead of attempting to guess what digits the Seattle Seahawks’ rookies would choose to decorate their jerseys, I waited and wrote this review to break down these choices and assess the quality of their decisions.
There is no time to waste! Let us begin.
College Number: 4
NFL Number: 94
McDowell’s choice of number was quite predictable. Most college players who wear a single digit pick a value that ends with that same digit at the next level. After wearing 4 in college, Malik likely would have chosen either 74 or 94 as a Seahawk. Since 74 is already taken by offensive tackle George Fant, 94 seems to be the obvious pick.
Numerical Assessment: 94 is a very good choice. Everybody knows the best number in the 90’s is 91 (indicating why Cassius Marsh was so reluctant to give it up when Chris Clemons resigned with Seattle last offseason).
Fortunately, Malik seems destined to wear 94, which is a number high in quality even without context.
College Number: 77
NFL Number: 79
The predictability of Pocic’s choice, while lower than that of McDowell’s, was still quite high. He apparently prefers numbers in the 70’s to those in the 60’s (because he has taste), leaving only 73 and 79 as realistic options. I would guess that 79 was ultimately chosen due to its residence within an acceptable tolerance from his college number of 77.
Numerical Assessment: While 73 is a better number than 79 putting context aside, this is a solid choice due to proximity with his college number. We can only hope that Pocic will do 79 half as much justice as Big Red Bryant did.
College Number: 10
NFL Number: 26
Shaq has been dropping hints on Twitter that he’ll be wearing 26 for quite some time, so this comes as no surprise. Numbers in the 20’s are clearly ideal for defensive backs (31 is an honorary addition to the 20’s as it is a top 5 number without a doubt). Unfortunately, most values within that range have already been snatched up, save for 24 and 26.
Numerical Assessment: Since 24 isn’t going to be taken by any player (let alone a rookie) any time soon, 26 was without a doubt the best choice Griffin could have made. 26 is a pretty good number by itself. Considering the circumstances, this is a great choice.
College Number: 44
NFL Number: 44
This is where things start to get tricky, friends. I have been quite vocal on Twitter regarding my negative assessment of numerals residing in the 40’s, as our own Lars Russell pointed out in a recent article. If Hill ends up shading more towards linebacker than safety, I’m going to have to eat my words:
The reason the Falcons blew a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl is because Vic Beasley wears #44 and Deion Jones wears #45.— Mike (@SeahawkScout) February 13, 2017
Numerical Assessment: While it is much more acceptable for defensive backs to wear numbers in the 40’s than linebackers, the 40’s are still garbage. With this said, I will give Delano respect for sticking to his guns and playing with the same numeral that he did in college. He’s an extremely fun player to watch and, despite his trash number, I have a feeling we’re going to be very thankful he is a Seahawk moving forward.
College Number: 90
NFL Number: 93
If Jarran Reed hadn’t chosen 90 for himself as a rookie last year, I have no doubt that Naz would have snatched it up for 2017 and beyond. I will venture a guess and say that he would prefer a number in the 90’s over 70’s or 60’s, so after Malik grabbed 94, only 92, 93, and 97 remained.
Numerical Assessment: I can only visualize O’Brien Schofield when I picture a Seahawk donning 93, so I’m not a huge fan of this choice (no disrespect to O’Brien). I wish Jones would have chosen 92, which is a classic defensive tackle number. I will throw some respect Naz’s way, though, for not abandoning his favored 90’s and fleeing to the 70’s.
College Number: 82
NFL Number: 84
Since Luke Willson was re-signed to a new deal this offseason, 82 is out of Darboh’s reach for at least a year. Lucky for him, as he upgraded integers. 84 was the best number out of those available in the 80’s (I’m guessing he wanted to stay out of the 10-19 range).
Numerical Assessment: Plain and simple, Darboh hit the jackpot. My apologies to Luke, but 82 is a number that exudes mediocrity. 84 is a good number by itself, but it carries immense legacy value in Seattle, having been worn by Bobby Engram and Joey Galloway. Good move, Amara.
Tedric Thompson and Chris Carson
College Numbers: 9 and 32
NFL Number: 33 and 32
This one is tough for me, because I understand why both players chose the numbers they did. I think it would have been more positionally befitting to have Thompson wear 32 and Carson wear 33 (never forget CMike), but respect to the latter for sticking with his college number and respect to the former for not picking a number in the 40’s.
Numerical Assessment: With numbers in the 20’s unavailable, 32 and 33 are the best integers left standing. Chris and Tedric have both made acceptable... no, good choices.
College Number: 5
NFL Number: 40
Tsk tsk tsk... Another number in the 40’s. Luckily, 40 is one of the better numbers in that group, so this is a quasi-acceptable choice. It would have been really hilarious, though, if Tyson had chosen either 43 or 49, the respective numbers of career knockouts and victories by boxer Mike Tyson. If Troymaine Pope or Kache Palacio don’t make the 53-man roster (which there is a hefty chance they won’t), that change in number would be possible and incredible. It would also give Tyson a pass for wearing a number in the 40’s.
Numerical Assessment: 40 is one of the least trashy numbers in the 40’s, and values in the 20’s and 30’s are scarce at this point, so I can stand this decision.
College Number: 58
NFL Number: 65
I have very little to say about this. Offensive linemen that wear numbers in the 50’s are odd to me. Alex Mack is the exception.
Numerical Assessment: Numbers in the 60’s are very ‘meh.’ This is not an exceptional number, nor a horrible one. Smart of Senior to play it safe and not risk choosing a garbage number.
College Number: 81
NFL Number: 83
Since Nick Vannett has already snagged 81, 83 is a fantastic consolation prize for Moore.
Numerical Assessment: This is yet another decision with legacy value. Moore pays tribute to Ricardo Lockette with this number. He made a good choice not to pick 86 or 87, as those are tight end numbers. Yes, indeed, Hines Ward wore a tight end number.
If you agree or disagree with any numerical assessments above, feel free to let me know. We can discuss in the comments.