INDIANAPOLIS — There's only really one true way to determine a player's popularity in the National Football League: how many fans are buying their jersey and other goods?
When things are going well for a player — or when he's struck a chord for whatever reason with a certain group — then fans are going to want to be wearing that guy's name and number on their back; they're going to want to gift that player's action figures and stick their Fathead image all over their homes.
It should probably come as no surprise, then, that Andrew Luck has been one of the most popular players in the league since he was selected No. 1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Since that time, Luck has been a consistent presence on the NFLPA's year-end "Top 50 Player Sales List," which is based on total sales officially licensed NFL player merchandise.
This trend popped up again recently, when the NFLPA announced its Top 50 list for the entire 2016 sales year (from March 1, 2016, through Feb. 28, 2017), and Luck came in at No. 33 overall.
The Stanford product is actually the 14th-ranked quarterback on the list, and he is sandwiched on the 2016 Top 50 by the Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan (32nd) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jameis Winston (34th).
Luck is also the only Colts player to appear on the Top 50 list this year. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was subsequently named to the NFLPA's 2017 "Rising 50" list (again), which annually identifies players "poised to break out and rank among next season's top-sellers" of various league merchandise, however.
As previously mentioned, Luck is no stranger to the NFLPA's Top 50 Player Sales list. He came in at No. 19 overall in 2015, 15th in 2014 and ninth in 2013. And while the position he plays might have a little to do with that, keep in mind that 17 wide receivers — just two fewer than quarterbacks — were on the 2016 NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales list, meaning playmakers at multiple positions, not just QB, remain popular among fans.
Here's the entire 2016 NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales List, but first, a reminder that you can order several Luck and other Colts-related items by clicking here to visit the Colts Pro Shop, the official store of the Indianapolis Colts:
- Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
- Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
- Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
- Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
- Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
- Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
- Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
- Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
- Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
- Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
- Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys
- J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
- Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos
- Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
- Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
- Khalil Mack, LB, Oakland Raiders
- Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
- Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
- Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
- Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
- Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers
- Richard Sherman, DB, Seattle Seahawks
- Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
- Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers
- Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
- Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
- Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
- Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
- Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
33. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
- Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings
- NaVorro Bowman, LB, San Francisco 49ers
- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
- A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
- Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
- Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
- Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
- Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
- Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
- Harrison Smith, S, Minnesota Vikings
- Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
- Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
- Kam Chancellor, S Seattle Seahawks
- Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets
- Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
- Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.