David Johnson and Devonta Freeman lead the players to watch at retail.
The National Football League Players Association, via its licensing arm NFL Players Inc., has revealed the NFLPA 2017 Rising 50, its annual list that identifies future top-selling players across licensed merchandise.
The NFLPA Rising 50 rankings take into account on-field performance during the 2016 season, fantasy football 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.
“The Rising 50 helps alleviate some of the risk and uncertainty partners face when considering which new players to include in their marketing and merchandising plans,” says Steve Scebelo, vice president, licensing and business development, NFLPA. “Only the NFLPA has the unique insights into the players’ interests and personalities, which we can match with partners seeking to extend their product assortments and add fresh faces to their campaigns.”
This year’s list is led by David Johnson (Arizona Cardinals). Behind Johnson is Devonta Freeman (Atlanta Falcons), Jay Ajayi (Miami Dolphins), Jordon Howard (Chicago Bears) and Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers). This year’s No. 1 overall pick by the Clevland Brows, Myles Garrett joins Brandin Cooks (New England Patriots), Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers), Deshaun Watson (Houston Texans) and Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers) to round out the top 10.
Other highlights from the list include:
- Nine first-round picks from the 2017 NFL Draft appeared on the list.
- The Los Angeles Chargers and Washington Redskins each boast four players on the list. The Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings have three players on the list.
- A total of 21 players have climbed form past Rising 50 designations to spots on the NFLPA Top 50 Players Sales list, including Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, DeAndre Hopkins, Carson Wentz, Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Jarvis Landry and Stefon Diggs.
The full NFLPA 2017 Rising 50 list can be found here.