Aug 5, 2022

National Football League players and their uniforms are connected. Fans quickly identify players on the field with the numbers. They become part of the player's persona and fans rock them when they wear a jersey. Tom Brady's TB12 became an icon because of the number.

How does a player get his number?

The rookies were asked why they chose their numbers. Paying respect to NFL heroes, making a number of their own, and not really knowing Troy Aikman are some of the things they said.

What is behind the numbers?

No. 1: Jahan Dotson, WR, Washington Commanders

Washington chose Dotson with the 16th overall pick after changing its name. Dotson wore No. 5 at Penn State but switched to signify he was the first pick of the Commanders and as a nod to his college teammate of two seasons, who wears No. 1 for the Broncos.

The first Commander ever drafted in history, and the number 1 has always been a cool number to me. It was cool to get the 1 because one of my former teammates in college wore it and was my mentor.

No. 4: Desmond Ridder, QB, Atlanta Falcons

It was a choice of three numbers for Ridder, and he chose the single digit after wearing No. 9 at Cincinnati. He tried to get Lorenzo Carter to give him the number, but he was told no.

Are you ready for the start of the game? If you want to play with your friends and family, sign up now. It's time to get started.

Is that shot down fast? It didn't make it to the compensation part of the conversation. Ridder didn't want to ask what the financial figure was, but he was aware of it.

Ridder said that he's a frugal man. The number change can be held off.

No. 8: Coby Bryant, CB, Seattle Seahawks

Kobe Bryant was named after the Seahawks' fourth-round pick, so why not wear his number as well?

Coby Bryant wore 7 for most of his college career but switched to 8 for his last game at Cincinnati. Kobe Bryant wore 8 for the first half of his NBA career before changing to 24.

Coby Bryant said that they just offered him the item. It was just God's plan from the beginning. I said yes as soon as the team asked me to.

Coleman had already been assigned a number.

No. 9: Jaquan Brisker, S, Chicago Bears

His brother, Tale', was killed in the line of duty. The number 3 was worn by the Bears safety in high school.

"I was just imagining how many times it is 9," he said. He finds a way to let them know he's here.

No. 9: Christian Watson, WR, Green Bay Packers

By the time he showed up for the rookies mini camp a week after the draft, he had switched to No. 9.

It was the jersey number that got thrown at me. I was excited about being drafted and I was ready to go. I wondered if you have any other options. I asked what the other options were and then I made a decision.

Since Curly Lambeau wore that number for the Packers, no one has worn it in a game for the team.

At the end of the day, I'm the one wearing the number and I talked to a lot of people. It wasn't about the number, but 9 was the one.

No. 10: Isiah Pacheco, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Hill was the most distinguished player in team history to wear the number. The Chiefs immediately traded Hill to the Dolphins for a seventh-round draft pick.

I'm pretty sure who wore it. Pacheco said that he did not feel any pressure. I wore this number before and did a great job with it. Adam Teicher is the guy that is wearing it.

Baltimore Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton was the 14th pick of the 2022 NFL draft and is wearing No. 14 as a rookie. Coincidence? AP Photo/Gail Burton

No. 14: Kyle Hamilton, S, Baltimore Ravens

When he got to Notre Dame, Hamilton was not attached to his high school number. He didn't know the significance of the jersey number he was given.

I was not a big jersey number guy going into college. Hamilton said that he made the number himself after he was assigned it. The 14th pick in the draft was available in Baltimore. It made sense since the stars were aligned.

No. 18: Jameson Williams, WR, Detroit Lions

Williams chose 18 as a nod to Calvin Johnson who wore 81 for the Lions. He put it back in its place.

Randy Moss wore the same number for the Oakland Raiders.

Williams wore the number 1 at Alabama, but Okudah wouldn't give it up for him.

Jamo went to Ohio State and saw me in the top spot, so it was difficult to get my number. Okudah said it was a weird conversation but he knew it was love.

No. 18: Jalen Tolbert, WR, Dallas Cowboys

8 at South Alabama and knew he wouldn't be a Cowboy. Troy Aikman's No. 8 is not allowed, as are Roger Staubach's and Emmitt Smith's numbers. Tolbert was given the number 18.

He didn't play football until he was in high school and didn't know who Aikman was.

He said he didn't like the older guys because he was starting football so late. "Now that I'm in the game and learning more, I'm starting to go back to watch Randy Moss and things like that, but I never knew who he was before."

No. 19: Calvin Austin III, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

When Austin picked his jersey number, there wasn't a lot of open space. Austin doesn't have a lot of meaning behind his choice of No. 19 and he isn't worried about the pressure that could come from wearing his old number.

When most Steeler fans see 19, that's who they'll think of, and that's to be expected, he said. Hopefully they'll think of me when they see 19 because it's just until I come in and show what I can do.

No. 33: Brian Asamoah, LB, Minnesota Vikings

After losing out on his first choice, third-round pick Asamoah chose a different number. He has worn a number in football. He wore the same number in high school and college.

He thought it was going to be 6.

No. 44: Travon Walker, OLB, Jacksonville Jaguars

There is a number. Ask them if they know anything.

• How Lamar is dealing with the noise

• Sauce is bringing the swagger

• Chiefs' OL exceeds expectations

• Bills' Davis has opportunity