Heading into the upcoming season, the NFLPA has named 20 players to their group of NFLPA Rising Stars. The annual list consists of 10 rookie and 10 veteran players who the NFLPA believed are poised to “have an impact on consumer sales and eventually rank among the top sellers of officially licensed, player-identified merchandise in the new season.”
10 rookies. 10 veterans. All rated based off on-field performance, social media, fantasy football favorability and sales data.— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 19, 2020
These rising stars are who we expect to see on the next wave of officially licensed player merch. See all 20 here: https://t.co/cBTFDltd9v pic.twitter.com/JrC5wyrtXy
Cleveland had the 10th overall pick in the draft and selected OT Jedrick Wills. However, offensive linemen are seldom used for marketing purposes, so he was not on the list of 10 rookies.
Nick Chubb (Cleveland Browns); Aaron Jones (Green Bay Packers); D.K. Metcalf (Seattle Seahawks); Marquise Brown (Baltimore Ravens); Deebo Samuel (San Francisco 49ers); Jaylon Smith (Cowboys); Raheem Mostert (49ers); Damien Williams (Chiefs); Drew Lock (Broncos); and Mecole Hardman (Chiefs) rank as 10 veterans to watch.
Rising stars are players who have not already shot up to stardom, but are expected to, from a marketing perspective. The criteria used for that is that the player “must not have appeared on any previous quarterly or year-end NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales List.” Chubb was nearly the NFL’s rushing leader in 2019, carrying the ball 298 times for 1,494 yards and 8 touchdowns. He could be poised for an even bigger season behind a much-improved offensive line.