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Raiders absent from NFLPA 2016 ‘Rising 50’

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Last year the NFLPA began putting out their ‘Rising 50’ which is a list of who they deem to be the future top selling NFL stars. This year’s list is devoid of Silver & Black.

The list is put together to identify players the NFLPA deems best positioned to rank among top-sellers of all officially licensed merchandise and become future retail stars.

Here is the entire list:

  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

The first reaction to the Raiders not being on this list for most fans would be something like a conspiracy. But there is actually a logical explanation.

This list is about marketability and if you look back at who was invited to the Rookie Premiere, you’ll see the NFL simple doesn’t consider defensive players to be very marketable and therefore are not well represented. This list has a grand total of 7 defensive players. All others are offensive skill position players.

Last year’s list had Raiders young stars Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper on it and once a player is on the list, they can’t be put on the list again the following year.

Outside of Cooper, none of the Raiders top drafted players the past two years are offensive skill position players. Neither are any of the teams top free agent additions this offseason.

That’s why despite six teams featuring as many as three players on the list (Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington), the Raiders have none.