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Predicting the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL Draft class jersey numbers

BTSC guesses which numbers will be assigned to each new drafted Steeler.

2021 NFL Draft - Red Carpet Photo by David Dermer-Pool/Getty Images

A number is an athlete’s identity. Some free agent arrivals try to pay big bucks to get the same number they’ve worn elsewhere. But for rookies, a lot of times they are at the mercy of the equipment managers. Join us as BTSC continues our fun tradition of predicting what digits the new Pittsburgh Steelers draft class will proudly represent.


RB Najee Harris - Alabama

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 CFP Semifinal at the Orange Bowl - Alabama v Oklahoma Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

College Number: No, 22

Current Wearer: None

Beck’s Number Projection: No, 22

Level of Certainty: The Highest

Analysis:

In a somewhat surprising twist the Steelers announced his number on draft weekend. The fact that it’s number 22 might just be the final stab into Steven Nelson’s ball.

BAD’s Number Projection: No, 22

Level of Certainty: The Highest

Analysis:

This is a perfect situation for the Steeler’s top choice of 2021. He wore it in college and it’s open in Pittsburgh. Spoiler Alert: The Steelers have already issued these digits to Najee.


TE Pat Freiermuth - Penn State

Ohio State v Penn State Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

College Number: No. 87

Current Wearer: Kevin Rader

Beck’s Number Projection: No. 8

Level of Certainty: 50/50

Analysis:

The first Steeler to take advantage of the new uniform number rule. Freiermuth may opt to return to his high school number 8. I’m not a fan of the universal numbers but someone is going to take the bait in his case it’s Freiermuth.

BAD’s Number Projection: No. 88

Level of Certainty: Fairly High

Analysis:

Since 2004, Freiermuth is the third Nittany Lion tight end to be drafted by the Steelers after Matt Kranchick (No. 88) and Jesse James (No. 81). Pat could get his No. 87 should Kevin Rader not make the final roster, but I feel that he will. The jerseys in the 80s are few and I don’t see the Steelers doleing out single digits so easy, so Kranchick’s eight-eight it is. I predict a better legacy in black and gold for Pat opposed to that of Matt.


C Kendrick Green - Illinois

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 05 Iowa at Illinois Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

College Number: No. 53

Current Wearer: None

Beck’s Number Projection: No, 51

Level of Certainty: Low

Analysis:

The only way this cat wears 53 is if Pouncey publicly gives him the number, while also telling Ben to stand down —We all know how the Gentry trying to wear 83 went— Instead he grabs one of the few numbers in the 50’s remaining

BAD’s Number Projection: No. 63

Level of Certainty: Fairly Low

Analysis:

He reminds everybody of Maurkice Pouncey from his face, body and position. He even wore the same digits as Pouncey. I just can’t see the Steelers issuing out LaShawn’s (Pouncey’s given name) number as early as this season and I doubt that Ben Roethlisberger would allow it. So let’s give Kendrick the digits made famous by another center, Dermonnti Dawson.


OT Dan Moore Jr. - Texas A&M

Arkansas v Texas A&M Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

College Number: No, 65

Current Wearer: None

Beck’s Number Projection: 65

Level of Certainty: High

Analysis:

Offensive lineman are a simple breed, give him his old number and let’s get to work.

BAD’s Number Projection: 65

Level of Certainty: High

Analysis:

Gerald Hawkins is not back in black and gold. Moore reminds me a bit of John Jackson, who wore the same number for the Steelers. Kind of an obvious choice.


LB Buddy Johnson - Texas A&M

LSU v Texas A&M Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

College Number: No, 1

Current Wearer: None

Beck’s Number Projection: No. 4

Level of Certainty: Low

Analysis:

Buddy has worn single digits since he was in high school, starting off with 5 in high school, number 7 as a freshman, before settling on number 1. Unfortunately for Johnson none of those numbers are available. He settles on 4.

BAD’s Number Projection: No. 51

Level of Certainty: 50/50

Analysis:

I have nothing to back this claim up, but apparently he Steelers no longer hand out el numero uno by choice. I know that it’s kind of lazy to just add a five onto it, but that’s my plan for the Steelers’ second pick of the fourth round.


DL Isaiahh Loudermilk - Wisconsin

Wisconsin v BYU Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

College Number: No. 97

Current Wearer: Cam Heyward

Beck’s Number Projection: No. 78

Level of Certainty: High

Analysis:

Loudermilk returns to his familiar high school number. Despite looking like Cam Heyward's son, he will not be able to wear his number.

BAD’s Number Projection: No. 79

Level of Certainty: Moderately Certain

Analysis:

The Steelers “Got Milk” in Round 5 of the 2021 Draft, but they also got a No. 97 in the form of Cam Heyward. I have no earthly idea what jersey they give the Wisconsin alum. A dude that big seems to need digits in the 90s, but there aren’t many available. Let’s flip the big guy’s numerals and go No. 79.


EDGE Quincy Roche - Miami (Fla.)

Mike Preston: Motivated by football and family, former New Town star Quincy Roche eyes NFL future Susan Stocker/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

College Number: No. 2 (Miami), No. 90 (Temple)

Current Wearer: Mason Rudolph

Beck’s Number Projection: No. 92

Level of Certainty: Fairly high

Analysis:

2, 12, 22, 32, 42 and 52 are not available so Roche settles in on the only other 2 number available for linebackers. Once worn by James Harrison and Jason Gildon maybe the Steelers find a little more magic in the old number 92.

BAD’s Number Projection: No. 92

Level of Certainty:

Analysis: Roche can’t get either of his college jersey number because of the fact that the Steelers’ backup quarterback and a guy named T.J. currently don them, But if you put a nine in front of the deuce, you get the jersey number of some dynamic Steelers pass rushers like Jason Gildon and James Harrison. The hope is that Roche will be in the same conversation as those two pass rushers.


DB Tre Norwood - Oklahoma

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Oklahoma v Florida Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

College Number: No. 13

Current Wearer: James Washington

Beck’s Number Projection: No. 16

Level of Certainty: Low

Analysis:

This is a tough call. Norwood has worn 13 and 11 in the past but those are both taken. Simply switching the 1 and the 3 is also not an option. So he has to jump on one of the few 10’s number available.

BAD’s Number Projection: No. 10

Level of Certainty: Low

Analysis: I’m really thinking No. 28 here, but that seems way too obvious, Somebody is getting a number that falls under the new rules. I’m probably way off here, but let’s give Norwood No. 10.


P Pressley Harvin III

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Jacksonville State at Georgia Tech Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

College Number: No. 27

Current Wearer: Marcus Allen

Beck’s Number Projection: No. 17

Level of Certainty: 50/50

Analysis:

I would love to see this kid rock a ridiculous number, however Punters can only pick between 1-19. The only number that feels right is number 17, It’s too bad the Steelers don’t issue number 1 because that would be legendary.

BAD’s Number Projection: No. 17

Level of Certainty: 50/50

Analysis: It doesn’t matter who wears No. 27 right now, Harvin can’t claim his college number since kickers, punters and quarterbacks are restricted to stay in the window of 0-19. Not sure where to go here, so I’m thinking 17 works the best.


Last year, we only predicted two jerseys correctly. Can we top it? We should, But more important, who wins the BTSC Jersey Challenge...BAD or Beck?