Some of the league's biggest stars have played in the DMV over the course of NFL history. For the Baltimore Ravens it started with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, and has only grown in recent years. For the Washington Football Team, it dates back even further, with stars like Art Monk and Joe Theismann.
Social media has altered the landscape for professional athletes since its inception. Lewis and Reed played the majority of their careers before social media became mainstream, and their brands likely would've grown much bigger if they played today. Monk and Theismann suited up for Washington in the 1980s, long before the concept of social media was even considered.
The NFLPA released its second Influencer Hot List, which takes into account total engagements on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Outside of the top 10 influencers, the list also notes the top 10 players in social media growth rate and top 10 players who are consistently active on social media.
Did any of the Ravens or Washington Football Team players make the cut? Here's a look at the lists:
NFLPA Influencer Hot List
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady edged Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes at the top of the list, but the Ravens did have some representation at the bottom of the top 10.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was listed at No. 10 on the hot list, meaning he gets among the most engagement of any player in the league on social media. This is notable for Jackson as he and the Ravens continue to work toward a long-term deal. Jackson's popularity and fame has grown immensely since he won NFL MVP in 2019.
Ravens division rivals Odell Beckham Jr. (Browns) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers) also made the list at Nos. 6 and 8, respectively.
Who is on the rise in the NFL?
The top 10 list for growth rate highlights players with rapidly growing followers on social media.
Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke was third on the growth list, behind only rookie quarterbacks Trey Lance and Zach Wilson. In total, the growth list has eight rookies and just two veterans (Heinicke and Scotty Miller).
Heinicke's social media following rapidly grew after his playoff performance against the Buccaneers last season. While Washington lost 31-23, Heinicke shined in his first start of the season. The 27-year-old Heinicke completed 26 of 44 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Which NFL players are most active on social media?
The Ravens were well-represented on the most active list, with Marlon Humphrey and Patrick Queen finishing second and third, respectively. The most active list encapsulates players who met audience and engagement thresholds, so these players post a lot and get plenty of responses.
Humphrey and Queen are two exciting young players on Baltimore's defense. Humphrey has made the Pro Bowl twice in his four seasons. He led the league in forced fumbles last season, a rarity among cornerbacks. Queen started all 16 games at linebacker as a rookie in 2020 after winning a national title with LSU in 2019. He had 106 combined tackles and 10 quarterback hits while being named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.