Changing of the Guard? One of the first lines of business for incoming rookies is choosing their number. Odd or even? What’s available? Can I bribe a veteran for my favorite number? These are all questions that are raised when a first-year player comes into the NFL.
49ers first-round pick (No. 28) OG Joshua Garnett wore No. 51 at Stanford. He wore No. 67 and No. 68 at Puyallup High School. Today, he wore No. 65, as the 49ers rookies took the practice field for the first time.
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) May 8, 2016
Unfortunately for Garnett, it appears he who won’t have the opportunity to continue wearing No. 51. That number is currently occupied by ILB Gerald Hodges who will undoubtedly make the 53-man roster. OC Daniel Kilgore has the rights to No. 67, having worn that number since entering the league back in 2011. But No. 68 should be there once final cuts are made, as I believe OL Colin Kelly won’t make the roster.
However, should the team release Kelly, I have a feeling that Garnett will stick with No. 65 anyway.
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) May 7, 2016
Five 49ers players have worn that number since 2000. Two of those five players made All-Pro. All five players were offensive guards. Pretty interesting stuff, right? Simply put, the No. 65 for some reason has been associated with more good than bad, and I believe Garnett will hold up the tradition with the former rather than latter.
Under NFL rules, offensive lineman are only allowed to choose between 50 to 79.
Garnett wasn’t alone in the process, as his co-first-round buddy DE DeForest Buckner chose No. 99. As for the other rookies that’s yet to be determined.
Behind the Number 65 (Since 2000)
- OG Ray Brown (2000-2001)
- OG Ron Stone (2002-2003)
- OG Justin Smiley (2004-2007)
- OG Barry Sims (2008-2010)
- OG Jordan Devey (2015)