Todd Gurley and Kirk Cousins lead the players to watch at retail.
The National Football League Players Association, via its licensing arm NFL Players Inc., has unveiled the NFLPA 2016 Rising 50, its annual list that identifies future top-selling players across licensed merchandise.
The NFLPA Rising 50 rankings take into account on-field performances during the 2015 season, fantasy-league popularity, early demand from current sponsors and licensees and new faces in strong markets as factors to determine projected sales popularity. To be considered for the ranking, players must not have appeared in previous NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales quarterly lists.
“We strive to provide partners with a depth of player knowledge they can’t get anywhere else,” says Steve Scebelo, vice president, business development and licensing, NFLPA. “And, through resources like the Rising 50 list, we can encourage them to create more products that represent an even wider variety of players who have so many unique characteristics."
This year’s list is led by Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams). Behind Gurley is top-ranked quarterback Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins), followed by Thomas Rawls (Seattle Seahawks) and two top draft picks–Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams) and Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys). Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals), DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans), Josh Norman (Washington Redskins), Allen Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles) round out the top 10.
Other highlights from the list include:
- Ten members from the 2016 NFL Draft appeared on the list.
- Six teams–the Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texas, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins–all have at least three players on the list. The Redskins are represented the most with five players.
- Eleven players from last year’s list–including top-ranked Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants)–ascended to appear on the NFLPA’s overall Top 50 Player Sales list during the 2015 season.
The full NFLPA 2016 Rising 50 list can be found here.