Hopkins ranked in Top 10 of NFLPA 2016 Rising Stars


by - Assoc. Editor -
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Kevin Jairaj / USATODAY

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

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