UPDATE: Britain Covey posted a picture on his Instagram story indicating he’s moving from No. 41 to No. 18. Big upgrade for the UDFA wide receiver/returner. Covey wore No. 18 at Utah. Stock up.
In the aftermath of the Eagles acquiring some new players and cutting their roster down to 53, there are some jersey number updates to address. Here’s an overview of what we’ll be analyzing. (Hat tip to @DiBirdsBlog for first drawing attention to the unannounced changes.)
QB Ian Book - No. 19
S C.J. Gardner-Johnson - No. 23
S Reed Blankenship - No. 32
RB Trey Sermon - No. 34
TE Grant Calcaterra - No. 81
WR Devon Allen - No. 82
RB Kennedy Brooks - No. 30
RB La’Mical Perine - No. 36
C Cameron Tom - No. 67
VERY IMPORTANT #JerseyNumberAnalytics ANALYSIS
- Woof. There are multiple reasons why No. 19 for Ian Book isn’t a great choice. For starters, it just isn’t a great quarterback aesthetic. It looks wrong. Further, No. 19 hasn’t been a successful number for the Eagles in some time. The last eight players to wear it: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Golden Tate, Paul Turner, Miles Austin, Mardy Gilyard, Brandon Gibson, and Michael Gasperson. The last Eagles quarterback to wear No. 19? That was Guido Merkens in 1987. For the uninitiated, Merkens had an interesting career as a player who logged snaps at quarterback, wide receiver, defensive back, punter, and punt/kick returner. It’s fitting that he would wear a weird QB number. Not so much for Book, who wore No. 12 at Notre Dame and No. 16 with the Saints. In fairness, those numbers weren’t available to him here. But he could’ve tried to get No. 18 with Jalen Reagor headed out the door.
- We already addressed Chauncey Gardner-Johnson going with No. 23 earlier this week. But I guess we shouldn’t refer to him as Chauncey Gardner-Johnson since the team’s roster has the new Eagles safety listed as C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
- Reed Blankenship changed from No. 46 to No. 32. In a vacuum, late forty numbers aren’t good. But I don’t always hate them on a safety, such as when Wes Hopkins rocked No. 48. I thought No. 46 was OK for Blankenship but No. 32 is an upgrade. He’s the first Eagles safety to wear that number since ... Marcus Paschal in 2007. Don’t really remember who that is. I do remember the guy who wore it before Paschal: Michael Lewis. I remember really liking him as a kid. Felt like he was underrated. Anyway, back to Blankenship ... he wore No. 12 in college. So he’s getting one of his two old digits back.
- Trey Sermon wore No. 4 at Oklahoma and No. 8 at Ohio State. He wore No. 28 with the San Francisco 49ers, which was a good look. Can’t say I love No. 34. He becomes the first Eagles running back to wear it since Kenjon Barner had it in 2015 and 2016.
- Last year, Jack Stoll wore No. 47 in camp before moving to No. 89 after making the roster. That was a more appropriate change for him as a primarily blocking tight end. No. 47 works better for a pass-catching tight end, as we saw with Trey Burton. With that in mind, I don’t necessarily love Calcaterra moving to No. 81. That’s a number that should be worn by a tall wide receiver (my T.O. bias is showing). Just don’t like it as a TE number. No. 81 is a better number than No. 47 but the fit isn’t right.
- Devon Allen changed from No. 39 to No. 82. That’s an upgrade in terms of having a better number. Though I didn’t actually hate No. 39 for Allen. It worked for him as a player with a unique background.
- Kennedy Brooks upgraded from No. 49 to No. 30. Maybe now he can have a Corey Clement impact for the Eagles one day.
- Multiple beat reporters tweeted about La’Mical Perine wearing No. 36 in practice. As expected, the replies to those tweets featured a lot of people saying No. 36 shouldn’t be in circulation out of respect to Brian Westbrook. I don’t know that I fully agree with that but it is kind of a bummer that it regularly goes to largely forgettable players.
- Cameron Tom had the slightest adjustment, moving from No. 66 to No. 67. Though it might seem insignificant, it’s not. No. 67 is definitely the better look. It hearkens back to Jamaal Jackson, who is probably one of the more underappreciated players in Eagles history. Speaking of JamJax, are there any BGN OGs who remember when I wrote a FanPost about him over 10 years ago now?! Crazy how time flies.