Jordan Howard may have been a 2016 surprise after being a fifth round draft pick in the NFL Draft, but now he’s known as one of the better running backs in the league after his 1,313 yard debut season.
He was the number two rusher in the league, he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, and he set the Bears’ rookie record for rushing yards. When you look at all the times a Bears’ running back went over a thousand yards, Howard’s 5.2 yards per carry was only bettered by Walter Payton in 1977 (5.5), Gale Sayers in 1966 (5.4), and Beattie Feathers in 1934 (8.4).
The recent NFLPA merchandise sales figures (March 1, 2017 - May 31, 2017) has Howard in the top 50, at 46th overall. The only other player on the list with a Chicago connection, is ex-Bear and current Eagles’ receiver Alshon Jeffery, at #50.
Number one of the list is Patriots’ QB Tom Brady, followed by Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott. Rounding out the top ten are Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland Raiders, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, Cowboy wide out Dez Bryant, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and another Cowboy, Jason Witten.
One surprise on the list, is Pittsburgh rookie, James Conner, who checked in at 24. Conner was a third round draft pick, but more importantly, he is a cancer survivor.