–Todd Gurley, Kirk Cousins, Thomas Rawls, and DeAndre Hopkins among players considered prospective NFLPA retail stars –
– Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Ezekiel Elliott highlight top draft picks on this year’s list –
WASHINGTON D.C., May 5, 2016 –The NFL Players Association (NFLPA), via its marketing and licensing arm, NFL Players Inc., today unveiled the NFLPA 2016 Rising 50, its second annual list identifying players best positioned to rank among top-sellers of all officially licensed merchandise and become future retail stars.
Through the early identification of players on the Rising 50 list, the NFLPA provides its existing and prospective business partners – including licensees, retailers and sponsors – with valuable insight to plan future product lines and marketing campaigns.
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 determining potential future sales popularity. To be considered for this ranking, players must not have appeared in previous NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales quarterly lists.The NFLPA Rising 50 is updated annually.
“We strive to provide partners with a depth of player knowledge they can’t get anywhere else,” said Steve Scebelo, NFLPA vice president of business development and licensing. “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."
Todd Gurley leads the list, following in the footsteps of Odell Beckham, Jr. who topped last year’s rankings, and moved to the NFLPA’s Top 50 Sales list (ranked No. 6 on the season-end 2015 list). Behind Gurley is the top-ranked quarterback, Kirk Cousins, followed by Thomas Rawls, and two top draft picks – Jared Goff and Ezekiel Elliott. Andy Dalton, DeAndre Hopkins, Josh Norman, Allen Robinson, Carson Wentz, David Johnson, Keenan Allen, Devonta Freeman, Tyrann Matheiu and Jeremy Langford round out the top 15.
Highlights from the list include:
- Ten members of the 2016 NFL Draft appear on the list including the first four picks: Jared Goff (No. 1), Carson Wentz (No. 2), Joey Bosa (No. 3) and Ezekiel Elliott (No. 4), in addition to 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, Derrick Henry.
- Six teams – the Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins – boast at least three players among the future marketing stars on the list. The Redskins are represented the most, with five players.
- Eleven players from last year’s Rising 50 – including top-ranked Odell Beckham Jr. –ascended to appear on an NFLPA overall Top 50 Player Sales list during the 2015 season. Others included Le’Veon Bell, Blake Bortles, Antonio Brown, Amari Cooper, Julian Edelman, Carlos Hyde, Alshon Jeffrey, Khalil Mack, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston.
NFLPA 2016 Rising 50:
- Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
- Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
- Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks
- Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
- Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
- Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
- Josh Norman, DB, Washington Redskins
- Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
- David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
- Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
- Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
- Tyrann Mathieu, DB, Arizona Cardinals
- Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears
- Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
- Paxton Lynch, QB, Denver Broncos
- Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
- Tyler Lockett, WR/KR, Seattle Seahawks
- Aaron Donald, DL, Los Angeles Rams
- Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
- Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
- Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
- Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
- Brock Osweiler, QB, Houston Texans
- T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
- Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland Browns
- Patrick Peterson, DB, Arizona Cardinals
- Joey Bosa, DE, San Diego Chargers
- Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets
- Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
- Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
- Buck Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens
- Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins
- Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins
- Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns
- Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
- Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
- Tavon Austin, WR/KR, Los Angeles Rams
- Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
- Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints
- Laquon Treadwell, WR, Minnesota Vikings
- Malcolm Butler, CB, New England Patriots
- Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
- Myles Jack, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars
- DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
- Blaine Gabbert, QB, San Francisco 49ers
About the NFL Players Association
The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through 2020.
About NFL Players Inc.
NFL Players Inc. is the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFLPA. NFL Players Inc. has been a trusted resource since 1994, delivering access to the influence, power and personal stories of NFL players. NFL Players Inc. is a “one-stop shop” for businesses seeking licensing rights, access to players through hospitality and events, marketing strategy and player procurement. For more information, please visit nflpa.com/players.