The 2023 NFL Draft has concluded, leading to the next step for the league's incoming rookie class: getting their jersey numbers assigned to them.
It's a small step in their NFL journeys, but an important one: Depending on how well they play in their respective careers, they can make the number they wear an iconic part of their legacy. And if you don't think it's important to the players, just look at Aaron Rodgers, who declined to wear Joe Namath's famed No. 12 jersey after he got traded to the Jets ahead of the draft.
So, who will wear what moving forward? Several teams have already released their rookie players' numbers, and the likes of Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Anderson Jr. and more will certainly be worth monitoring, among other notable 2023 rookies.
The Sporting News is tracking the most notable rookie jersey numbers as they are announced. Follow along below:
NFL rookie jersey numbers 2023
Here are the new jersey numbers for some notable names in the class of 2023, with explanations for select choices below.
|Lukas Van Ness||Packers||90|
Bryce Young jersey number
The Panthers on Tuesday announced Young will wear No. 9, the same number he wore at Alabama. Current Panthers quarterback Matt Corral — who posted a cryptic message after Carolina drafted Young — formerly wore the jersey. He will now wear No. 2, the same number he wore at Ole Miss and in high school.
Bryce Young to wear No. 9 https://t.co/peXncPBVht— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) May 2, 2023
Anthony Richardson jersey number
Though unconfirmed by the Colts, Richardson on Friday said he already knew what number he was going to wear for the Colts.
“I’m looking to get No. 5,” Richardson said (via the Indianapolis Star). “That was the first number I had playing football in Miami, whenever I was little. I feel like that’s what set the foundation for me.”
Richardson will drop the "1" from his No. 15 Florida jersey, which briefly earned him the AR-15 nickname in college. He eventually distanced himself from that moniker so as not to be associated with assault-style rifles.
Devon Witherspoon jersey number
Witherspoon, the second defensive player taken in the draft, will wear No. 21 with the Seahawks. The number he wore at Illinois, No. 31, has already been claimed by running back DeeJay Dallas. He will revert back to the No. 21, which he wore at Pine Forest High School (Pensacola, Fla.).
Bijan Robinson jersey number
The Falcons on Tuesday announced Bijan Robinson, the highest-selected running back of the NFL draft since Saquon Barkley went No. 2 overall in 2018, will wear the No. 7 jersey in Atlanta:
There's something about that #7 pic.twitter.com/bNjLj7los8— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) May 2, 2023
That number formerly belonged to kicker Younghoe Koo, whose new number has not yet been updated.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba jersey number
Smith-Njigba, the top overall receiver of the 2023 draft, will wear No. 11 in Seattle. It's the same number he has worn throughout his football career dating back to Rockwall High School (Texas) and Ohio State University. The number was recently freed up after Marquise Goodwin signed with the Browns in free agency.