Perhaps there's no greater symbol of the scouting mind and background Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes has then cornerback Jerry Jacobs. He's gone from undrafted rookie in 2021, to arguably (or inarguably) the team's best cornerback when he was back on the field last year post-ACL tear to a Week 1 starter this year.
Jacobs has worn No. 39 through his first two NFL seasons. The league has stupid rules when it comes to players changing numbers--a player who wants to change his number has to buy the existing inventory of his old number to be able to do so.
No offense meant to Jacobs, but his No. 39 Lions' jersey is probably not one a lot of people have, yet anyway. A section of Lions' fans might have one or want one, but beyond Detroit a lot of NFL fans will go "who's that?" if his name comes up. So buying up existing inventory of his current number probably won't be a huge problem.
Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs teases a number change before start of season
Earlier this week, Jacobs appeared to tease a number change.
When the Lions open the season against the Kansas City Chiefs next Thursday night, it looks like Jacobs will step on the field with his defensive teammates wearing No. 23. As of Friday morning he was still listed as No. 39 on the Lions' roster, so we'll see when (if) that changes.
Fellow defensive back Saivion Smith had been wearing No. 23, but he was waived with an injury so the number is available for someone else. Jacobs has apparently claimed it before any of his teammates could.