With the 2021 NFL Draft firmly in the rearview mirror, we've arrived at the point where this year's rookies are picking out their jersey numbers. One of those rookies happens to be Pittsburgh Steelers' third-round pick Kendrick Green.
A first-team All-Big Ten offensive tackle in 2020, Green has Steelers fans excited about his potential. However, one thing they likely won't be thrilled about is his new jersey number.
He'll be going with No. 53, which was worn by a certain o-line fan favorite in Pittsburgh: Maurkice Pouncey.
Pittsburgh Steelers News
Pouncey just retired back in February, which is why some fans might feel like it's too soon to see another Steeler wearing No. 53. Besides, it's not like Pouncey was just some guy. He was one of the best centers in the game over the last decade, making five All-Pro teams and nine Pro Bowls. Even if he'd been retired for several years, those are still major boots to fill.
Another reason why Steelers fans might be unhappy about Green's new number is that it essentially rules out a Pouncey return in 2021. The Pittsburgh fanbase was holding out hope that their beloved center would come out of retirement, especially considering he's still only 31 years old. However, that theory might be put to rest now. If the Steelers thought there was any possibility of a return, they likely would've told Green to choose a different number.
At the end of the day, it'll be interesting to see if Green can live up to Pouncey's legacy. The former Illinois Fighting Illini offensive lineman received an 88.0 overall grade from ProFootballFocus in 2020, going 527 offensive snaps without allowing a single sack. In other words, the potential is there.
With that being said, he still has a long way to go before being held in the same conversation as Pouncey, which means Steelers fans could be unhappy about Green's jersey number decision for the foreseeable future.
Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!