Rising Stars list has been unveiled. Compiled each year by
., the marketing and licensing business of the NFLPA, the list identifies 10 rookies and 10 veteran players poised to have an impact on consumer sales and rank on the NFLPA Top 50 Players Sales lists in the new season.
A total of 69 players have climbed from Rising Stars to the NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales lists since 2015, including a record 13 this past year. Among those who ascended from “Rising Star” to a top player in licensed product sales were Mac Jones (quarterback, New England Patriots)
and Justin Fields (quarterback, Chicago Bears), who finished Nos. 5 and 8, respectively, at year end.
“The magic of this list is that it pulls from a variety of data including player sales, fan bases, social media engagement and even fantasy football popularity,” says Steve Scebelo, president,
Players Inc. “Combined with their diverse personalities and exciting on-field performances, we forecast players
The rankings evaluate factors for sales popularity, including on-field performance, early demand from
partners for content and marketing, fantasy league status, social media engagement, product submissions from 80+ NFLPA licensees, team fanbases and new faces in strong markets. To be considered for the Rising Stars, veteran players must not have appeared on any previous quarterly or year-end NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales List, the only verified rankings of all officially licensed product from retailers.
The following rookies are forecast to break through in NFL player product sales:
Kenny Pickett, quarterback – Pittsburgh Steelers
Drake London, wide receiver – Atlanta Falcons
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, cornerback – New York Jets
Aidan Hutchinson, defensive end – Detroit Lions
Garrett Wilson, wide receiver – New York Jets
Chris Olave, wide receiver – New Orleans Saints
Kayvon Thibodeaux, defensive end – New York Giants
Kenneth Walker III, running back – Seattle Seahawks
Desmond Ridder, quarterback – Atlanta Falcons
Malik Willis, quarterback – Tennessee Titans
The following popular veteran players are projected to continue driving the sports licensed business this upcoming season:
Trevon Diggs, cornerback – Dallas Cowboys
A.J. Brown, wide receiver – Philadelphia Eagles
Hunter Renfrow, wide receiver – Las Vegas Raiders
Cam Akers, running back – Los Angeles Rams
Javonte Williams, running back – Denver Broncos
Travis Etienne, running back – Jacksonville Jaguars
D’Andre Swift, running back – Detroit Lions
AJ Dillon, running back – Green Bay Packers
Michael Pittman, wide receiver – Indianapolis Colts
Rashod Bateman, wide receiver – Baltimore Ravens
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