Grading jersey numbers for Buccaneers draft picks

Luke Goedeke, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Luke Goedeke, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

The jersey numbers for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft picks have been announced, and we’ll give each Buccaneers rookie’s jersey number a letter grade.

Jersey numbers of new players and draft picks are always a talking point amongst fans, because after all, players may come and go, but what remains is that fans always root for the uniform. That being the case, it’s exciting to see what numbers each new player will wear for their beloved team. Of course, there’s also the chance fans end up using their hard-earned money to purchase said jerseys as well.

With rookie minicamp now in full swing for the Bucs, we now know what number every rookie will be wearing. Of course, for the undrafted free agents, those numbers are generally temporary for camp purposes. So in that spirit, we will stick with grading each Buccaneers’ draft pick’s jersey number they will be wearing for their first season in Tampa Bay. Let’s get after it.

Buccaneers second-round pick DL Logan Hall: 90

The presumptive replacement of Ndamukong Suh in the starting lineup, Logan Hall will be wearing the same number Suh wore as a member of the Detroit Lions. Subtle, yet effective. Perhaps what isn’t so subtle is the fact that 90 is also the number that Jason Pierre-Paul wore with the Buccaneers, effectively officially ending the lone Pro Bowler of the 2020 championship team’s time in Tampa Bay. Perhaps it’s a little early for that, but what’s done is done. Hall has a chance to make the number his own in the new era of a younger Bucs’ defense. Numbers in the 90s have been done to death by defensive linemen, so some unique variety would have also been nice. Perhaps a little harsh, but when it comes to grading sometimes you need to nitpick.

Grade: B

Buccaneers third-round pick OL Luke Goedeke: 67

The Buccaneers selected Luke Goedeke in the second round with the hope that he’ll take over for the vacant guard spot. Sure he’ll have some competition, but he should definitely be seen as the favorite to start. Long-time fans (read: long-suffering fans) will remember that the last time the Bucs drafted a player with hopes of strengthening the offensive line that wore 67, it was Kenyatta Walker. Ask your fathers or older siblings, kids. Basically, let’s just hope Goedeke fairs better than Walker. That aside, 67 is a pretty cool-looking number, especially for a guard, and this writer is admittedly a sucker for a good redemption story. Hence the highest grade for the hope that Goedeke has this number rising from the ashes like a phoenix. He also scores big since he’s the only draft pick to keep his college number.

Grade: A+

Buccaneers third-round pick RB Rachaad White: 29

Rachaad White is being brought in as the hopeful long-ish (he is a running back after all) term solution for the change-of-pace back that also thrives in the receiving game. If all goes perfectly, White may even eventually take the baton from Leonard Fournette. Unfortunately for White, 29 isn’t the prettiest number, especially when the league now allows for college-style number selections. Eric Dickerson wore the unpretty number but was also one of the prettiest runners of all time. On the long-shot chance that White runs like Dickerson, we may be onto something. For now, he’ll be graded tough but fair.

Grade: C

Buccaneers fourth-round pick TE Cade Otton: 88

Cade Otton knew what he was doing with this selection. While the future of Rob Gronkowski is STILL unknown, Otton and the Buccaneers left Gronk’s (and Otton’s college number) 87 open. However, they gave Otton one digit higher in the hopes he ushers in a new era of great production at the position. Think of it as a similar approach to the reasoning behind Kobe Bryant’s switching from 8 to 24. Is that what’s happening here? It’s a stretch. Still, it’s cool to think about so we’ll pretend that’s what’s going on. Mamba mentality. We also kind of have to assume this is the case in fairness to Otton because should he become the starter he’ll be instantly compared to Jimmie Giles, the greatest tight end in franchise history, who also wore 88.

Grade: B+

Buccaneers fourth-round pick P Jake Camarda: 5

Sure, Richard Sherman most recently wore number 5, who is… notable. However, when Bucs fans think of number five they think of former quarterback and first-round pick Josh Freeman. Now, they’ll think of punter and fourth-round pick Jame Camarda. That kind of polar-opposite turn of events is honestly hilarious, to this writer at least, so we’ll give it the highest grade, all in the name of comedy. It’s the offseason after all so we got time for this.

Grade: A+

Buccaneers fifth-round pick CB Zyon McCollum: 27

When Ronald Jones is the most recent player to wear 27, that always gives the new donner of the digits ample opportunity to make the number his own. Unlike the case with 90, it’s not too soon to refresh the number. Zyon McCollum is an athletic freak, and with RoJo now in Kansas City, McCollum can bring back some positive moments to the number not seen in Tampa Bay since fellow athletic specimen LeGarrette Blount.

Grade: B+

Buccaneers sixth-round pick TE Ko Kieft: 41

Similar to the case with 67, this writer is also a sucker for the quirky when it comes to jersey numbers. Rarely will you see tight ends with numbers in the 40s, the most notable being Dallas Clark, who did enjoy a cup of Joe in Tampa Bay. Ko Kieft will be wearing 41 as a tight end, which is certainly a bit zany, and the Buccaneers haven’t really had anyone too notable wear the number unless, of course, you have a soft spot for Norris Thomas. Some may disagree with this grade, but that’s the call and we’re sticking to it.

Grade: A-

Buccaneers seventh-round pick DE Andre Anthony: 46

Once again, three cheers for the quirky and unique. Andre Anthony may have his work cut out for him to make the final roster despite being the Bucs’ final draft choice, but at least he’ll look cool fighting the uphill battle. Not only is 46 rarely seen by defensive ends, at least so far in the NFL, but it’s also rarely been seen by Buccaneers fans period. Again, feel free to disagree, but we’ll throw Anthony a gentlemen’s bone here.

Grade: A

Numbers will always change. Players come and go, but the uniform is what matters. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2022 draft class, they graded high on their first NFL exam. While fans are excited to see what they do on the field, they can now be just excited to enjoy how good their numbers will look whilst on the field.

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