The NFLPA has singled out 10 rookies who it forecasts will sell a lot of merch in 2018.
There were 256 players selected in the recent NFL Draft, but only 10 of them have the right ingredients the NFLPA has identified for strong returns on NFL franchises’ investments in their rookie seasons.
Each year, the NFLPA develops a list for rookies’ potential commercial value based on the players’ draft position, on-field performances, fantasy football popularity, early demand from NFLPA sponsors for content and marketing, product submissions from more than 70 NFLPA licensees, and the strength of each player’s new team’s market.
With that formula in place, the list of the top 10 most marketable rookies for the 2018 season has been compiled. It is as follows:
- Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
- Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
- Sam Darnold, QB, New York Jets
- Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
- Josh Rosen, QB, Arizona Cardinals
- Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
- D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
- Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins
- Bradley Chubb, DE, Denver Broncos
- Shaquem Griffin, LB, Seattle Seahawks
The 2017 rookies on the same list ended up doing quite well, making this list a strong predication of future success. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson ended up ranking 25th on the NFLPA’s overall top 50 sales list for 2017 despite missing a lot of the season. His success was followed by Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey at no. 36 and Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at 37th on the sales list.
While quarterbacks represent the most dominant position on this list, as is the norm, the fact that no teammates appear on this list is promising for the league. Appearances by “small” market teams such as Arizona, Buffalo and Cleveland are encouraging signs as well.
How these rookies will fare on the field of play remains to be seen, but what’s more certain is that the NFLPA expects to reap a lot of revenue from them in 2018.