The players that were drafted last week by the Minnesota Vikings are taking part in their first rookie camp starting today, and that means that they've chosen the numbers that they will be wearing as members of the team. Since folks are interested in that sort of thing, let's take a look at who picked which number, and a bit of the Vikings' history behind each one.
We'll do this in the order that they were drafted.
LB Anthony Barr - #55
This number has a long and illustrious history among Minnesota Vikings' linebackers. Scott Studwell wore the number for his entire 14-year career with the Vikings. Then it got a year off, and Jack Del Rio wore it in his four-year run with the team. It was most recently worn by Kenny Onatolu from 2009 to 2011, and by Marvin Mitchell during the past two seasons.
QB Teddy Bridgewater - #5
The history of this number. . .well, it depends on your perspective. The two most recent Vikings to wear it were punter Chris Kluwe and quarterback Donovan McNabb. Kluwe had the number from 2005 to 2010, and took it back in 2012 after giving it to McNabb for the 2011 season.
Oh, and Josh Freeman wore it last season, for those of you that haven't erased that from your memory banks. (Never mind, no he didn't.)
DE Scott Crichton - #72
Not a whole lot of history behind this one for our favorite football team. The best player to wear the number was probably James White, a defensive tackle that spent his entire eight-year career (1976-1983) with the Vikings. Seth Olsen wore the number last year (prior to his injury) and Chris DeGeare wore it before him.
RB Jerick McKinnon - #31
The most success with the number 31 for the Vikings seems to belong to running backs, as it was worn by both Rick Fenney (who was awesome on Tecmo Bowl way back when) and Scottie Graham. Defensive backs have had significantly less success, as it was recently worn by Marcus McCauley, Chris Cook (for his first two seasons), and Bobby Felder. Good argument for keeping McKinnon at running back, I suppose.
G David Yankey - #66
The number 66 doesn't have a whole lot of history, either. It was most recently worn by John Gerak from 1993 to 1996 (with a couple of guys that didn't see any action for the Vikings wearing it in 2011). The best player to wear #66 in purple was probably Terry Tausch, who held down the right guard spot for the Vikings for several years in the early and mid-80s.
DB Antone Exum - #32
Like #31, most of the success that this number has seen in Vikings' history has come from the running back position. We know that 32 was most recently worn by Toby Gerhart, but it was also the number of Onterrio "Whizzinator" Smith and the underrated Amp Lee. On the other hand, defensive backs haven't had a lot of success with the #32. Hopefully Exum can change that.
CB Kendall James - #40
The #40 has a lot of sentimental value for many fans in recent history, as it was the number worn by tight end/fullback Jim Kleinsasser during his entire Minnesota tenure. It was also worn by a somewhat forgotten defensive back for the Vikings named Charlie West, who intercepted 15 passes in his Vikings' career, including seven in 1971. It's currently being worn by tight end/fullback Rhett Ellison.
DT Shamar Stephen - #76
While the big defensive tackle has chosen #76, the greatest success this number has seen in Vikings' history has been on the other side of the trenches. It was worn by future Hall of Fame guard Steve Hutchinson, as well as the outstanding Tim Irwin. And don't forget Chris Liwienski, a fixture on Minnesota's offensive line from 1998 to 2005. Geoff Schwartz also wore 76 in his one season in Minnesota.
LB Brandon Watts - #58
The number 58 has a pretty good history with Minnesota linebackers. It was worn by the late Wally Hilgenberg from 1968 to 1979, and then later on by Ed McDaniel from 1992 to 2001. Napoleon Harris, one of the pieces of the Randy Moss trade, also wore the number while he was a member of the Vikings.
CB Jabari Price - #39
Any defensive back wearing 39 in Minnesota has some pretty big shoes to fill, as that was the number worn by Carl Lee during his 11-season tenure in Minnesota. The number was also worn by Husain Abdullah recently, and early in Vikings' history by Hugh McElhenny and Bobby Walden.
And those are the uniform numbers for the Minnesota Vikings' 2014 draft class, and a look at the players that have worn the number before them. All of this data was provided by the uniform number locator at Pro Football Reference.