Wills revealed on social media he will wear No. 71 for the Browns.
“Starting my own Legacy. #71,” Wills wrote on Twitter.
— Jedrick Wills Jr.® ➕🌎☄️💕 (@JWills73) April 27, 2020
The Alabama standout wore No. 74 in college.
Wills told ESPN Radio in Cleveland he would not wear No. 74 out of respect for Browns veteran offensive tackle Chris Hubbard, who agreed to restructure his contract with the team earlier this offseason.
Wills also considered No. 72.
According to Wills, future Browns Hall of Fame tackle Joe Thomas gave him permission to wear No. 73, but head coach Kevin Stefanski didn’t feel comfortable with that.
With respect to Chris Hubbard, Jedrick Wills will not wear No. 74.
.@joethomas73 gave him the green light to wear No. 73, but head coach Kevin Stefanski didn't feel comfortable with that.
He's deciding between No. 71 & No. 72 now.
— Nick Pedone (@NickPedone12) April 27, 2020
Thomas holds the NFL’s snap streak with 10,363, which is the most since the league began recording them in 1999.
“There will not be any sleeping for me tonight because I’m so excited by this pick,” Thomas told the Cleveland Browns Radio Network after the pick. “When I watch him on film, there’s nothing he can’t do. All these other guys who were the top tackles had big question marks, in my opinion. This guy? No question marks. Browns home run.
“There’s nothing that when you watch him on tape makes you go, ‘Well, I don’t know. He’s going to have to get better at this,'” Thomas said. “Does this man move like an All-Pro in the NFL? Will the footwork skills, technique, quickness, balance, change of direction and recovery skills that he possesses in his body be able to hold up to the Von Millers and J.J. Watts?
“I went back, and there was only one guy that stood out. He just popped off your screen. The technique he was using. The dominance. The finish. The change in direction. The explosion that he had. The way he could bend his ankles, knees and hips and create force and power. When guys tried to bull rush him, he was firm and stout.
“There was only one guy that looked like that, and that was Jedrick Wills.”
Wills is expected to start at left tackle for the Browns in 2020 even though he played at right tackle for Alabama during the past two years.
It fills a void left by Thomas, who suffered a torn triceps in his left arm in October 2017.
The team has played several left tackles since Thomas’ injury.
Wills’ friend and mentor Doug Dieken also wore No. 73.
Dieken has the record for most consecutive games played with 203.