While the Pittsburgh Steelers have yet to officially announce the jersey numbers their new draft class will wear in 2019, it would appear that we might have an idea of the digits that Diontae Johnson has in mind this season.
The young rookie wide receiver posted a new picture of himself in a Steelers uniform on Friday wearing number 18, a jersey that would be available to him based on the team’s current allocations to their veteran players.
Fitting nicely between Eli Rogers (17) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (19), he would be part of a receiver group that does not feature any wideout with a number in the 80’s this year if he goes with 18, joining Donte Moncrief (11) and Ryan Switzer (10) and James Washington (13) in that regard.
With the exception of numbers 70 (Ernie Stautner) and 75 (Joe Greene), no other jersey numbers have been officially retired by the Steelers, but there are many that the team has not issued since they were worn by some of the more iconic players of their Super Bowl teams.
As per Bob Labriola of Steelers.com, these numbers are:
“There are a bunch of jersey numbers the Steelers just don’t issue anymore, and the numbers are the ones you would expect: No. 12, No. 32, No. 52, No. 58, and No. 59 from the 1970s, with No. 36, No. 43, and No. 86 from the more recent group of key players from Super Bowl teams.”
And while Labriola notes that the need for enough numbers to cover all the wide receivers and tight ends has often led to the team being forced to use 82 and 88, the recent trend of younger players like Smith-Schuster, Washington and now Johnson all wanting numbers in the 10’s should mean they should be safe from allocation this year.