–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:

  1. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
  2. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
  3. Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks
  4. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
  5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
  6. Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
  7. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
  8. Josh Norman, DB, Washington Redskins
  9. Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
  10. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
  11. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
  12. Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
  13. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
  14. Tyrann Mathieu, DB, Arizona Cardinals
  15. Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears
  16. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
  17. Paxton Lynch, QB, Denver Broncos
  18. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
  19. Tyler Lockett, WR/KR, Seattle Seahawks
  20. Aaron Donald, DL, Los Angeles Rams
  21. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
  22. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
  23. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
  24. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
  25. Brock Osweiler, QB, Houston Texans
  26. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
  27. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  28. Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland Browns
  29. Patrick Peterson, DB, Arizona Cardinals
  30. Joey Bosa, DE, San Diego Chargers
  31. Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets
  32. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
  33. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
  34. Buck Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens
  35. Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins
  36. Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins
  37. Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  38. Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns
  39. Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
  40. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
  41. Tavon Austin, WR/KR, Los Angeles Rams
  42. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
  43. Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
  44. Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints
  45. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Minnesota Vikings
  46. Malcolm Butler, CB, New England Patriots
  47. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
  48. Myles Jack, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars
  49. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
  50. 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.


Media Contacts:

Brandan Prunty


(212) 938-0168

Tags player list player marketing Rookies Rising 50