PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles' 2021 draft class is set to take the field at the NovaCare Complex for the first time at rookie minicamp on Friday and to do that, they all needed jersey numbers.
The Eagles confirmed the looks of the freshman class in a new era of more number autonomy in the NFL with the league relaxing requirements a bit for certain positions.
The headliner, first-round pick DeVonta Smith, will officially carry the No. 6 he wore at Alabama en route to the Heisman Trophy over to the professional ranks which had been reported earlier.
In Eagles' lore, No. 6 was the domain of quarterbacks and kickers.
"[At Alabama] it was just kind of like, I knew I couldn't get number three so it was just like I'll take any single digit that they gave me - six. So it was just like, Okay, 'sweet six' I'm gonna run with it," said Smith.
The number selection was more personal for Tarron Jackson, who picked No. 75.
"At first I wanted to get a number with the nine in it to represent my brother, but I’m a rookie I got to build my way up, I have to earn that number," he said. "There were a couple of numbers I could choose from, but 75, seven plus five is 12 and that’s the age that my brother passed (from leukemia), so I felt that was one of the ways I could honor him was by wearing 75."
Smith's teammate with the Crimson Tide, second-round offensive lineman Landon Dickerson, will be making a move from his college number, going from 69 in Tuscaloosa to No. 51 in Philadelphia.
Veteran OL Matt Pryor is currently wearing No. 69 for the Eagles. The last player to wear No. 51 was Philadelphia native Shareef Miller, a defensive end who is now with Arizona.
Here are the numbers and history for the entire Eagles' draft class:
No. 6 WR DeVonta Smith
Previous Eagles players who wore No. 6: Jim MacMurdo, Gary Adams, John Reaves, Spike Jones, Dan Pastorini, Matt Cavanaugh, Bubby Brister, Jason Baker, Lee Johnson, Jose Cortez, Sav Rocca, Alex Henery, and Caleb Sturgis
No. 51 OL Landon Dickerson
Previous Eagles players who wore No. 51: Enio Conti, Lyle Graham, Al Milling, Robert Wear, Ray Graves, Boyd Williams, Frank Szymanski, Chuck Weber, Jim Schrader, Dave Recher, Dwight Kelley, Dick Cunningham, Ron Lou, Reggie Wilkes, Chuck Gorecki, Ricky Shaw, William Thomas, Carlos Emmons, Takeo Spikes, Nate Wayne, Matt McCoy, Joe Mays, Antwan Barnes, Jamar Chaney, Emmanuel Acho, Steven Means, Shareef Miller
No. 93 DT Milton Williams
Previous Eagles players who No. 93: Tom Strauthers, John Dumbauld, Ray Phillips, David Bailey, Greg Townsend, Daniel Stubbs, Darion Conner, Pernell Davis, Levon Kirkland, Marco Coleman, Jevon Kearse, Trevor Laws, Jason Babin, Brandon Bair, Tim Jernigan, Javon Hargrave
No. 27 CB Zech McPhearson (McPhearson is the first player to be issued No. 27 since Malcolm Jenkins)
Previous Eagles players who wore No. 27: George Demas, Milton Leathers, Robert Gonya, Jack Dempsey, Burle Robinson, George Rado, Milton Trost, Sam Bartholomew, Bob Davis, John Butler, Ted Laux, Pete Kmetovic, Alvin Johnson, Clyde Scott, Neil Ferris, Hal Giancanelli, Billy Wells, Gene Johnson, Irv Cross, Trenton Jackson, Ronald “Po” James, Richard Blackmore, Topper Clemons, Siran Stacy, Eric Zomalt, James Bostic, Julian Jones, Norman LeJeune, Quintin Mikell, Brandon Hughes, Malcolm Jenkins
No. 14 RB Kenny Gainwell
Previous Eagles players who wore No. 14: Swede Hanson, Rudy Gollomb, Woody Dow, Bob Gambold, Pete Liske, Marty Horn, Rick Tuten, Jeff Wilkins, Doug Pederson, A.J. Feeley, Riley Cooper, Marcus Johnson, Mike Wallace, Robert Davis
No. 90 DT Marlon Tuipulotu
Previous Eagles players who wore No. 90: Aaron Brown, Mike Golic, Randall Mitchell, William Perry, Ronnie Dixon, Jon Harris, Ben Williams, Corey Simon, Darren Howard, Antonio Dixon, Clifton Geathers, Marcus Smith, Justin Hamilton, Treyvon Hester, Bruce Hector
No. 75 DE Tarron Jackson:
Previous Eagles players who wore No. 75: Bill Halverson, George Savitsky, Frank Wydo, Tom Saidock, Jim McCusker, John Meyers, Tuufuli Upersa, Houston Antwine, Dennis Wirgowski, Willie Cullars, Stan Walters, Jim Gilmore, Scott Leggett, Louis Cheek, Daryle Smith, Rob Selby, Troy Drake, John Michels, Michael Sinclair, Frank Ferrara, Dominic Furio, Juqua (Thomas) Parker, Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, Vinny Curry
No. 30 LB JaCoby Stevens: (Stevens wore the all-important No. 7 at LSU, a much-coveted jersey also worn by his idle, future Hall of Fame cornerback Patrick Peterson)
Previous Eagles players who wore No. 30: Art Koeninger, Chuck Brodnicki, Barnes Milon, Claude Urevig, Harry Benson, Bob Masters, Don Looney, Mort Landsberg, John Binotto, Richard Erdlitz, Milton Smith, Bosh Pritchard, Theron Sapp, Alvin Haymond, Jim Raye, Joe Lavender, Ron Lou, Mike Hogan, Cleveland Franklin, Don Calhoun, Chris Johnson, Otis Smith, Charlie Garner, Brian Mitchell, J.R. Reed, Geoff Pope, Colt Anderson, Ed Reynolds, Corey Clement
No. 48 LB Patrick Johnson
Previous Eagles players who wore No. 48: Eberle Schultz, Ben Scotti, Jay Johnson, Greg Oliver, Martin Mitchell, Wes Hopkins, Steve Hendrickson, Andre President, Jon Ritchie, Josh Hawkins, Elijah Riley
Other jersey number changes for 2021:
CB Darius Slay: 2 (previously 24)
WR Khalil Tate: 17 (previously 6)
RB Jordan Howard: 24 (previously 34)
RB Kerryon Johnson: 34
DB Elijah Riley: 39 (previously 48)
LG Isaac Seumalo: 56 (previously 73)
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.