Bears Rookies Give Huge Nod to Team Legends With New Jersey Numbers

Cole Kmet Chicago Bears draft

Getty Chicago Bears rookie tight end Cole Kmet.

It’s official. On Saturday, the Chicago Bears revealed the jersey numbers of their new players, including all seven of their recent draft picks, as well as their latest free agent acquisitions.

The reveal of what number each player will be sporting included a few young Bears players choosing numbers associated with team legends.

Here is a list of which jersey numbers Chicago’s rookies and free agents will be wearing. Note: as the Bears currently have 90 players on a roster that will be whittled down to 53, a few of the jersey numbers are duplicates.

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Chicago Bears Jersey Numbers Revealed for New Players

The team announced the jersey numbers of its rookies in a lone tweet. Here’s what the rookies will be wearing:

Bears Rookie Jersey Numbers

Darnell Mooney, wide receiver: No. 11
Jaylon Johnson, cornerback: No. 33
Kindle Vildor, cornerback: No. 46d
Arlington Hambright, offensive lineman: No. 71
Lachavious Simmons, offensive lineman: No. 73
Cole Kmet, tight end: No. 85
Trevis Gipson, outside linebacker: No. 99

The jersey numbers of the Bears’ undrafted free agents were also announced on the team’s website, as were the numbers of their newly acquired veteran free agents.

Bears Undrafted Free Agent Jersey Numbers:

Ahmad Wagner, wide receiver: No. 2
Artavis Pierce, running back: No. 37o
Rashad Smith, linebacker: No. 44d
Napoleon Maxwell, running back: No. 46o
Keandre Jones, linebacker: No. 49d
Ledarius Mack, linebacker: No. 57
Dieter Eiselen, guard: No. 60
Lee Autry, defensive tackle: No. 63
Trevon McSwain, defensive tackle: No. 75
Badara Traore, tackle: No. 76o
LaCale London, linebacker: No. 97

With Ledarius Mack wearing No. 57, it seems as though the “debate” about which Mack would wear No. 52 has been resolved. We all knew it would be Khalil, but it’s still fun to have multiple Macks on this Bears roster.

Recent Free Agent Acquisitions:

Trevor Davis, wide receiver: No. 4
Tashaun Gipson Sr., safety: No. 38
John Jenkins, defensive tackle: No. 90

Bears Rookies Cole Kmet & Jaylon Johnson Pay Homage to Legendary Bears With Jersey Selections

Both of the Bears’ top two draft choices in the 2020 NFL Draft, tight end Cole Kmet and cornerback Jaylon Johnson, have chosen to wear jersey numbers that are nods to Bears legends. Kmet, who grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois, is a lifelong Bears fan, and he was elated to be selected by his favorite team. Kmet wore No. 84 in college, but Cordarrelle Patterson wears 84 for Chicago. Kmet is the future of the franchise at the position, and likely had some say in his number selection. He chose to wear No. 85, likely as a nod to the only Bears team to win a Super Bowl: the ’85 Bears.

The team’s new corner, Jaylon Johnson, who Chicago selected with the 50th overall pick, will wear No. 33, a number Bears fans know well and hold dear. Johnson was the first corner drafted by the Bears in the second round since Charles “Peanut” Tillman, who the team selected with the 35th overall pick in 2003. Tillman wore No. 33, and became one of the team’s all-time greats in his 12 seasons in Chicago. Tillman forced 44 fumbles, the most in NFL history by a defensive back, utilizing what fans, players and analysts alike refer to as the “Peanut Punch.”

Johnson wore No. 1 in college, so choosing No. 33 seems like a deliberate nod to Tillman. Now that he’s a professional, Johnson is setting higher standards for himself than ever. He has already stated his lofty goals for his rookie year, which include nabbing Defensive Rookie of the Year and winning a Super Bowl, so choosing to wear the number of one of the best defensive backs in Chicago Bears history feels like another statement by Johnson. Bears corner Duke Shelley had been wearing No. 33, and he gave it up to wear No. 20, so Johnson must have specifically requested it. It’s a nice nod to a Bears legend who did it all before him at the same position.

READ NEXT: Ledarius Mack Reveals Role With Bears, Advice From Brother Khalil

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