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Big Shoes: Texans Rookie Numbers Pay Homage to Franchise Greats

The Houston Texans revealed the numbers their rookie class and many come with history attached.

The next generation of Houston Texans took another step in their journey on Wednesday, as this year's rookie class numbers were revealed.

And for some players, their numbers come with big shoes to fill.

Third overall pick, cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. will wear 24, a number previously worn by two-time Pro Bowl corner and 15-year veteran Johnathan Joseph. The former Cincinnati Bengals defensive back still holds Houston's records for interceptions, defended passes and defensive touchdowns.

Fellow first-rounder, guard Kenyon Green, will wear 10-year veteran linebacker Whitney Mercilus' former number of 59. Mercilus, who retired this offseason, has more Texans appearances than any other defender and ranks second in sacks, forced fumbles and quarterback hits.

Derek Stingley Jr.
Whitney Mercilus, Johnathan Joseph, Jadeveon Clowney

Second-round safety Jalen Pitre, the first player to sign his rookie deal, will take No. 42. Pitre will be the first to wear this since 2010.

The 44th overall pick, wide receiver John Metchie III, will take tight end Jordan Akins' old No. 88.

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Linebacker Christian Harris, whose selection prompted a wholesome moment between Nick Caserio and Lovie Smith, will don 48, most recently worn by fellow linebacker Joe Thomas.

One of the more exciting picks, running back Dameon Pierce, will take fellow rusher David Johnson's No. 31.

Defensive lineman Thomas Booker has the unenviable task of being compared to franchise stalwart Brian Cushing. The former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year wore No. 56. Cushing is Houston's third-leading tackler all-time and was the heartbeat of its defense for nine years. 

Joe Thomas
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Brian Cushing

Tight end Teagan Quitoriano will hope to have a similarly solid career as fellow tight end Ryan Griffin, who previously wore No. 84.

Finally, offensive lineman Austin Deculus will take fellow lineman Duane Brown's No. 76. Brown, a five-time Pro Bowler and former All-Pro, remains arguably the best lineman in Texans history.