Sakamoto: 49ers DeForest Buckner To Wear Number 99



Move over DE Aldon Smith because San Francisco 49ers first-round pick DE DeForest Buckner has just taken a number, as in your number. Although no official word has been announced, the 49ers released a picture of ‘DeFo’s’ jersey via twitter.

Under NFL rules, defensive lineman are only allowed to choose numbers between 60 to 79 and 90 to 99. The majority of the D-Lineman choose the latter category as it’s more traditional than the former.

Coming to a store near you

A photo posted by Arik Armstead (@sacnina91) on

If you remember, last year’s first-round pick (No. 17) DE Arik Armstead burst onto the scene wearing No. 69 but then later switched to No. 91 once the season started.

However, the statement above should tell you that the choices are slim pickings, as many NFL rosters are already set. Buckner was no different as he only had two numbers to choose from, 98 or 99. There are two other jersey numbers that are noteworthy. Number 94 and number 97.

But those are off limits…

No one has wore No. 94 since DE Justin Smith retired while the same can be said with No. 97 DE/DT Bryant Young. Both players are considered two of the very best at their respective positions, and to honor their tenure with the team, those numbers remain retired (although not official).

Behind the Number 99 (Since 2000)

  • DT Brentson Buckner (1998-2000)
  • DE John Milem (2001)
  • DE Sean Moran (2002)
  • DE Andrew Williams (2003-2004)
  • OLB Manny Lawson (2006-2010)
  • OLB Aldon Smith (2011-2014)

The other 49ers rookies have yet to reveal their numbers, but when they do I will surely let you know.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.