Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Brown wore No. 16 in college. Obviously, that’s out of the question in the pros

One of the most enjoyable memories from Super Bowl week was the Thursday before the game and having a chance to sit down with San Francisco 49ers rookie safety Ji’Ayir Brown. We watched film from his time at Penn State and a few plays from this season.

Brown is a student of the game and called his shot. He was confident the Kansas City Chiefs would run a “7 cut,” which is a deep corner route, and said he would jumpi the route. Sure enough, Brown did just that:

Brown has a promising future ahead. He’s at his best when he’s playing in the “post,” which is the center field role as the deep safety in the middle of the field. He tracks the ball well, gets great jumps, and understands route concepts.

While he ran a “slow” 40 time, Brown told me that he was running in the 4.4s leading up to the NFL Combine. He mentioned that part of the reason he felt like he didn’t run as fast as he wanted to was the delay in the timing for the defensive back group that day. Pair that with not getting a chance to eat, and that’s how you get a 4.65 40-yard dash.

Brown doesn’t look like a 4.6 type of player when you watch him play.

On Wednesday, Brown took to Twitter asking whether he should change his number. That’s an easy one. The answer is yes.

Jimmie Ward switched from No. 20 to No. 1 and became a better player.

Charvarius Ward went from wearing No. 35 to No. 7 and became an All-Pro.

Brown wore No. 16 in college. I asked him if he even bothered to ask Joe Montana, and he laughed and knew the answer.

Ray-Ray McCloud is an unrestricted free agent. He wears No. 3. The same goes for Sam Darnold, who wears No. 14. Brown could take Ward’s old No. 1. That may be the best bet. Any player who goes from wearing a double-digit number to a single-digit number is guaranteed to have success. Look no further than Deommodore Lenoir, who was a part-time player wearing No. 38 and became a starter wearing No. 2.

It’s science.

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