Hopkins ranked in Top 10 of NFLPA 2016 Rising Stars

by - Assoc. Editor -
<span style="font-size:.7em">Kevin Jairaj / USATODAY</span>
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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