Certain players are simply synonymous with certain numbers. It’s hard to see No. 4 without thinking of Brett Favre. Seven will always be John Elway. A pair of twos right next to each other is Emmitt Smith. And the sight of 56 conjures up memories of Lawrence Taylor.
Those are some of the all-time greats, players who have etched their names in the NFL’s history books. But there are plenty of guys today who are on their way to that type of football immortality, the best in the game who are creating their own legacies.
Are they good enough to become forever linked with their jersey number, however? That’s a level of greatness that few achieve.
To start answering this question, the editors at cover32 first set out to determine who the best players are in 2014 based on numbers. From 1-99, we’ve selected the player who is most synonymous with that particular digit as of right now. The series started with Nos. 1-9, and is now on to the next group.
Are they destined to become an all-time great? Only time will tell. But here’s who is on track at the moment.
10 – Eli Manning
Outside of the Nation’s Capital, no one should have an argument with this decision. Even if Manning did have a terrible season in 2013, he still had a better year than RGIII; being on the field gives him that honor. Plus, the Giants quarterback has two Super Bowl rings to his credit. That trumps a Heisman Trophy and your own logo any day.
11 – Larry Fitzgerald
For whatever reason, No. 11 has become the new hot digits for wide receivers. Fitzgerald is atop a group that includes Julio Jones, Percy Harvin, Mike Wallace and Julian Edelman; that’s a lot of pass-catching talent. But ultimately, the guy who has done it the longest and possesses arguably the best hands in the NFL gets the nod.