Every New York Jets fan was on the edge of their seat for the 2021 NFL draft. Then the green and white added 10 new players to the roster.
As soon as the draft was over, the next thing Jets fans were clamoring for was the rookie jersey numbers. It’s a strange fascination that has captivated the fan base.
For whatever reason, the Jets have been one of the slowest teams in the NFL to release their rookie jersey numbers over the last couple of years. For example last year Gang Green didn’t release those juicy details until June 30. Over two months AFTER the draft.
This time around it didn’t take as long. On Thursday afternoon the Jets shared the brand new jersey numbers for their top three rookies by draft position on social media.
New York Jets Finally Get With the Program
— NFL (@NFL) May 7, 2021
- Zach Wilson, BYU, quarterback
Wilson has chosen a new era with the New York Jets. After wearing No. 11 to start off his college career as a freshman in 2018 he transitioned to No. 1 over his final two seasons at BYU.
Many expected Wilson to carry that jersey number to the NFL.
It’s been a popular number over the years with quarterbacks like Cam Newton (New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers). Although most recently it has been a sexy number for the young guns like Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals) and Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins).
But Wilson decided to go in a new direction with No. 2.
When the former BYU star officially starts his first, which is expected to be Week 1 vs the Carolina Panthers, he’ll become the first Jets starting quarterback in history to don the No. 2.
“I’m just mixing it up, doing something new,” Wilson said at rookie minicamp. “I like any single-digit number, I think they’re cool. I was the second pick, so that’s a good reason to switch it up. Not much reason behind it but I just think it’s a cool number.”
Alijah Vera-Tucker, Elijah Moore Reveal Their New Jersey Numbers
The other top two picks for the Jets, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Elijah Moore, will be sticking with their collegiate numbers.
Vera-Tucker will be sticking with No. 75 on the offensive line.
One of the most underrated Jets of all time donned 75 for the green and white, the late and great Pro Football Hall of Famer Winston Hill. He played for Gang Green from 1963 through 1976.
While he passed away back on April 26, 2016 at the age of 74 he was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 class.
Hill was a stalwart on the offensive line for the Jets and was a pillar for the lone championship in franchise history during Super Bowl III. The Hall of Famer spent 14 of his 15 seasons in the pros with the green and white.
While former Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore decided to take advantage of a new NFL rule that was passed this offseason.
Back in late April the Kansas City Chiefs submitted a proposal to loosen the restrictions on who can wear which jersey numbers.
In other words, this proposal, which was approved, opens up the number of players that are now eligible to wear single-digit numbers. Before 2021, the only players that were allowed to don those were quarterbacks, punters, and kickers.
“The expanded jerseys will allow running backs, tight ends, fullbacks, H-backs, and wide receivers to wear numbers 1-49 and 80-89.”
With that being said Moore will wear No. 8 this season for the Jets.
Now that the top three rookie jersey numbers are official, fans can scramble to the internet to purchase their favorite threads to don this season here. The other numbers for the remaining rookies and undrafted free agents are “still to be finalized”, per the Jets.