Earlier this week, we brought you the reports of four Packers who had their jersey numbers assigned. First-round pick Damarious Randall has number 23, while third-rounder Ty Montgomery gets 88 and Fourth-round pick Jake Ryan will continue wearing 47 at the next level.
Now we have the numbers for all eight draft picks, and there's one somewhat surprising number assignment that leads to a deeper meaning. First, here are the numbers:
#Packers rookie uniform numbers 7: Hundley 22: Ripkowski 23: Randall 24: Rollins 47: Ryan 77: Ringo 86: Backman 88: Montgomery— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) May 7, 2015
As for the deeper meaning, it's right here:
@RobDemovsky just had the draft picks' numbers. Rollins got Bush's 24. That's got to mean good-bye to Bush, you'd think.— Packer Report (@PackerReport) May 7, 2015
With five corners more or less guaranteed a spot on the roster at this point (Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde, Randall, and Quinten Rollins) and a slew of contenders for depth spots (last year's sixth-round pick Demetri Goodson among them), it was tough to imagine Bush returning, but the door still seemed open to some extent. That door now very much appears to be closed.
Here's a little history on each of the newly-released Packers' numbers, and click back here for background on the four that we knew earlier this week.
Aaron Ripkowski, #22
Two notable names have worn the number 22 for the Packers. First was Elijah Pitts, running back and kick returner throughout the decade of the 1960s. Later on, cornerback Mark Lee donned the number as a ten-year starter for the Packers between 1981 and 1990. Most recently, 22 was worn by running back Kahlil Bell and safety Jerron McMillian.
Quinten Rollins, #24
The obvious connection here is Bush, but far and away the best player to wear the number in Packers history is Hall of Famer Willie Wood. The five-time All-Pro spent his entire career with the Packers from 1960 to 1971, and recorded 48 interceptions in his career, along with five NFL championships. Safety Johnnie Gray is the other notable number 24, starting in Green Bay every year from 1975 to 1983.
Christian Ringo, #77
Notably, Cullen Jenkins wore #77 from 2004 to 2010. During his final two seasons in Green Bay, Jenkins played defensive end position, matching up with Ringo. 77 was also the number worn by Tony Mandarich, though Ringo thankfully will not have similar expectations placed on him to those that Mandarich had as a rookie.
A Lombardi-era defensive tackle also wore number 77 - Ron Kostelnik, a second-round pick of the Packers in 1961. Mike Butler was a six-year starter in the late 1970s and early 80s as well.
Kennard Backman, #86
Number 86 has adorned the jerseys of two legendary Packers receivers during the two major Super Bowl eras in Packers history. In the sixties, it was Boyd Dowler, one of Bart Starr's top targets. In the 1990s, Antonio Freeman wore the number during two Super Bowls and earned All-Pro honors in 1998.