The Vikings Rookie Jersey Numbers Are Out

Oct 15, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) catches a pass against the Utah Utes in the second half at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports.

Knowing the players’ jersey numbers is always important, especially in a sport where helmets and pads make it close to impossible to identify the players without knowing those numbers. They are also meaningful for players because they must feel comfortable performing, and having a jersey with one’s favorite number can help. They also want to build their brand and often use their digits as a big part.

The Vikings have six jerseys retired. Fran Tarkenton’s #10 was the first in 1979, followed by former MVP Alan Page, whose #88 won’t be given out again. His teammate of the Purple People Eaters, Jim Marshall, and his #70 are also untouchable since 1999. The duo of offensive linemen Korey Stringer and Mick Tingelhoff have had their jerseys retired since 2001, #77 and #53. Cris Carter’s #80 joined the group in 2003.

The Vikings Rookie Jersey Numbers Are Out

Of course, many other digits are already taken by players on the roster. However, the six drafted rookies all still found one.

Jordan Addison – 3

The Vikings Rookie Jersey Numbers Are Out
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison poses for a photo on the NFL Draft Red Carpet before the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The first-round receiver wore #3 in USC in 2022 and when he played in Pittsburgh in 2020 and 2021. Since Cameron Dantzler was waived back in March, it was available, and Addison immediately changed that. Besides Dantzler, only kickers, punters, and QBs wore #3 in franchise history.

Addison is the top rookie of the Vikings draft class and will take over as the WR2. Justin Jefferson and Addison could form a scary duo on the outside for years to come.

Mekhi Blackmon – 11

He was Addison’s teammate last season and the final pick of the third round. Blackmon will wear a different number than he did in college, as Lewis Cine wears his #6. Last year’s waived player Kellen Mond was the last Vikings player connected to that jersey.

Blackmon will compete with Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans for the remaining CB spot on the other side of Byron Murphy. New defensive coordinator Brian Flores picked him and inherited the others, so he has a chance to win the camp battle.

Jay Ward – 20

Defensive back Ward was the first of two LSU draft picks by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. He wore Jalen Reagor’s #5 in college. He’ll take over Duke Shelley’s #20, who became a fan favorite because of his toughness and aggressiveness in just one season with the club, but he joined the Raiders in free agency.

Rookie Jersey
Apr 17, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers cornerback Jay Ward (5) tackles LSU Tigers running back Tyrion Davis-Price (3) during the first half of the annual Purple and White spring game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

Ward played safety, slot cornerback, and outside cornerback in college. His best chance to play in 2023 is as a slot cornerback, a position up for grabs because Chandon Sullivan is no longer under contract.

Jaquelin Roy – 78

The second addition out of LSU wore #99 last year, but that belongs to a different former LSU standout, Danielle Hunter. He’ll take over Dakota Dozier’s #78. Dozier is currently a free agent.

Roy will have a role in his rookie season on a defensive line that desperately needs some talent. He will compete with the likes of Khyiris Tonga, James Lynch, Ross Blacklock, Jonathan Bullard, and Esezi Otomewo.

Jaren Hall – 16

After wearing the BYU jersey #3 in his college time, he can not have that with the Vikings because, well, Jordan Addison already chose it. Hall is the first Vikings QB to wear #16 since Matt Cassel, who made nine starts for the purple team and threw for 14 touchdowns in 2013 and 2014. Wide receiver Davion Davis wore #16 twice in 2019.

Nov 19, 2022; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) warms up prior to a game against the Utah Tech Trailblazers at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The QB is unlikely to see the field in his rookie campaign. He was brought in as a developmental guy. Hall has some intriguing skills but must improve in many areas. If he can do that, he could be a potential successor for Kirk Cousins.

DeWayne McBride – 37

The UAB superstar running back wore #22 there, but that has been taken for over a decade. Safety Harrison Smith will keep that for at least another season. It is an unusual number. The most recent one was Curtis Riley in 2020, a defensive back who appeared in two games.

McBride’s role will depend on the future of Dalvin Cook. If the star runner departs from the team via trade or release, it opens up opportunities for the rookie and also for Alexander Mattison and Ty Chandler.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt