With rookie mini-camps beginning for all three state NFL teams on Friday, it was intriguing to see all of their number one picks out on the field in their new colors and jerseys. And, in the case of two of them, they’ve had to go to a different number than what they wore in college.
First, Jaguars #7 overall pick, Edge rusher Josh Allen of Kentucky, will get to keep his number 41 for 2019. The man who led the SEC in sacks in 2018 was doing so in a bit of an odd number, as that is usually reserved for safeties or even running backs.
Still, here was a quick glimpse of Allen in that number making his way out to the Jags rookie camp practice Friday at TIAA Bank field:
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) May 10, 2019
Allen is expected to complement Yannick ngakoue and coleus Campbell along the Jaguar defensive front.
Meanwhile in Tampa, the 5th overall pick, LSU linebacker Devin White made his first appearance on the Buccaneers practice facility field. And he did so sporting a brand new number 45 Jersey instead of his purple and gold LSU “40” that he wore the last three seasons.
Any fan of the Buccaneers knows that the number 40 belongs to one of the most popular players in franchise history in the “A train,” Mike Alstott. The Buccaneers bulldozing fullback holds the team record for rushing touchdowns and was one of the more iconic short-yardage rushers of the last 40 years in the NFL.
White told the media today after the practice that he respects and understands why the Buccaneers number 40 belongs to Alstott:
“The minute I put my cleats on and walked out to this field, it was like heaven. I was so happy, I was loud, I was running around trying to bring energy to the guys."
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) May 10, 2019
Interestingly also, White’s number is the reversal of the other Buccaneers inside linebacker and former Pro bowler, Lavonte David, who wears number 54. David will be mentoring White in the middle of a brand new defense being installed by Todd Bowles.
Finally, in South Florida, when Dolphins number one pick Christian Wilkins stepped out onto the field in Davie for rookie mini-camp today, he did so sporting number 97.
Rookie minicamp day 1️⃣
Let’s get it‼️ pic.twitter.com/X9VOsTtlzE
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) May 10, 2019
Wilkins ,who wore number 42 throughout his career as a defensive lineman at Clemson went with a more appropriate number for a guy who’s going to play “in the trenches” in the pros.
Wilkins definitely has a championship pedigree having won the title last season with his teammates in their blowout win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game. And, whether he’s wearing 42, 97 or 00, the Dolphins and coach Brian Flores are hoping that he will become a force in the middle of their defense for years to come.
An interesting tidbit on Wilkins choosing 97 is that the first ever Dolphin to wear that number was John Bosa, former top pick in 1987. And as you probably know by now, his sons Joey and Nick have each been drafted in the first round by the Chargers and the 49ers, too.
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