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Dolphins rookie jersey numbers: Jordan Phillips wears number 97

The Miami Dolphins have announced the jersey number assignments for the rookie draft class. We take a look at second-round pick Jordan Phillip's number 97 this afternoon.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Other Jersey Assignments: DeVante Parker to wear #11

The Miami Dolphins have released the jersey assignments for their 2015 Draft class, giving each player the number which he will wear. We will take a look at all seven players' assignments, and the history of that particular number, over the next couple of days.

We move on to the second-round pick, defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who will wear number 97.

History of number 97

John Bosa - 1987-1989
Jeff Hunter - 1992-1993
Tyoka Jackson - 1994
Aaron Jones - 1996
Ernest Grant (2000-2001)
John Denney - 2005-2006
Phillip Merling - 2008-2011
Kheeston Randall - 2012
Isaako Aaitui - 2013

Most Recent Player

Aaitui was a great story for the Dolphins in 2013. After spending time on the practice squad in 2011, after signing as an undrafted free agent. His work ethic made him a key figure in the team's 2012 appearance on HBO's Hard Knocks, but he did not make the roster, instead being among the last set of roster cuts as the team trimmed to the regular-season roster limit of 53 players. Miami planned to sign him back to the practice squad, but the New York Jets claimed him off waivers, and he headed north, only to tear his ACL and MCL in his first practice. He received an injury settlement from the Jets and worked his way back to signing with the New Orleans Saints in the 2013 offseason, but was again released in the last set of roster cuts. The Dolphins then brought back Aaitui, signing him first to the practice squad, and giving him number 97, then promoting him to the full roster and, ultimately, giving him his NFL debut.

Name Games Tackles Sacks INT FF FR
Isaako Aaitui 4 3 0 0 0 0

Best Player

You could make the argument that the best player for the Dolphins to wear number 97 was Denney in the two years he had it, but most of his career has been in the number 92, so, instead, we will look at Merling as the best player to wear the number. The second round pick of the Dolphins in 2008, Merling appeared in all 32 games his first two seasons, but then injuries caught up to him. He tore his ACL in the 2010 season, only appearing in five games and recording three tackles. The next year, he only played in 10 games, with four tackles, being waived before the 2012 season. He played two more seasons, one with the Green Bay Packers and one with the Washington Redskins, but only appeared in three games each of those seasons.

Name Games Tackles Sacks INT FF FR
Phillip Merling 47 67 3.5 1 0 2