The Minnesota Vikings placed three players on the NFL Players Association’s 2017 Rising 50 list.
The list identifies players poised to break out and rank among next season’s top sellers of all officially licensed merchandise. This year, the Vikings to make the list were QB Sam Bradford and running backs Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook.
Bradford checked in at No. 24 after being traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Vikings days after Teddy Bridgewater suffered a devastating knee injury during a preseason practice last August.
Murray, acquired in free agency, placed 40th on the list and rookie Cook, drafted in the second round, was just two spots behind him at No. 42.
Last year, Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs was listed among the rising 50 and this year he was in the top 50 for sales. He was one of 10 players on the rising 50 list last year to make the top-50 list this year.
The Vikings were among four teams to have three players on the list, joining the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos. Only two teams, the Los Angeles Chargers and Washington Redskins, had more players on the Rising 50 list, with four each.
The ranking was developed by evaluating on-field performances during the 2016 season, fantasy football popularity, early demand from NFLPA sponsors and licensees, as well as new faces in strong markets. To be considered for inclusion, players must not have appeared in any previous quarterly or year-end list of the NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales.
By assembling this list of Rising 50 players, the NFLPA provides current and prospective business partners – including sponsors, licensees, and retailers – with valuable sales and marketing insights to plan product lines and marketing campaigns for the upcoming season.
2017 NFLPA Rising 50 List
- David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
- Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
- Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
- Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
- Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns
- Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots
- Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
- Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
- Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
- Josh Norman, CB, Washington Redskins
- Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
- Tyrann Mathieu, S, Arizona Cardinals
- Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
- Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
- Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
- T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
- Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
- Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
- Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
- Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
- Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings
- Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears
- Trevor Siemian, QB, Denver Broncos
- Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins
- Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
- Mike Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
- Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
- Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
- Ty Montgomery, RB, Green Bay Packers
- Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
- Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns
- Landon Collins, S, New York Giants
- Vic Beasley, DE, Atlanta Falcons
- Fletcher Cox, DT, Philadelphia Eagles
- Eric Berry, S, Kansas City Chiefs
- Paxton Lynch, QB, Denver Broncos
- Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings
- Rob Kelley, RB, Washington Redskins
- Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
- Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
- T.J. Watt, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- DeShone Kizer, QB, Cleveland Browns
- John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
- Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
- Jake Butt, TE, Denver Broncos
- James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, New England Patriots