Four of the rookies drafted by the New England Patriots have chosen their jersey numbers. First-round pick Devin McCourty will wear #32. Second-round picks Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Spikes will wear numbers 87 and 55, respectively. Sixth-round pick “Don’t mess with the” Zoltan Mesko will wear #6.
Brandon Spikes has particularly big shoes (or jersey) to fill in choosing #55. The last two players to wear that number are Junior Seau and Willie McGinest. Both players were great linebackers for the Patriots, particularly McGinest. Most of Seau’s career was spent in San Diego, but McGinest spent 12 years wearing #55 in Patriot blue. If Spikes can even just sniff the production of McGinest and Seau, he will have a solid career in New England and be a steal as a late second rounder.
Side-note: I guess we can forget about Junior Seau playing one more year
Rob Gronkowski also has some hefty shoes to fill. The last great Patriot to wear #87 (with all due respect to David Givens) was TE Ben Coates. Coates had a stellar 9-year career as a Patriot before spending his last season in Baltimore. As a Patriot, Coates caught 490 passes for 5,471 yards and 50 touchdowns. If Gronkowski lives up to his potential and spends his career in New England, he could very well pass Coates’ numbers. One can only hope.