It’ll be a while before we know which 2017 NFL rookies make the biggest impact on the field—and in the sports card business—but collectors have already begun voting with their wallet.
Pre-draft products picturing players in their college uniforms—some with autographs—began hitting the market in March. While they’re generally not as popular as those released later showing the top picks in the uniforms of the teams that draft them, there will likely be some nice keepers among the group of early releases in the 2017 football trading card year.
We tracked top sales for two of the most popular draft pick products and found a few names that are already setting the pace.
The top-selling players in Panini Contenders Draft included Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson (Texans) and LSU running back Leonard Fournette (Jaguars). Watson’s 1/1 Championship Ticket auto sold for $1, 035 on Wednesday. One of Watson’s Playoff Ticket autographs, numbered to 15, sold for $375 this month while a Draft Ticket, numbered to 25, sold for $320. There have been several sales of Watson’s Cracked Ice autograph card numbered to 23, with a range of $550 to $700.
Fournette’s Cracked Ice cards have been ranging from $310 to $500 while his Bowl Ticket autographs, numbered to 25, have recorded sales of $300-$360.
Bears fans weren’t enamored with their team’s pick of North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky but his 1/1 Contenders Championship Ticket auto sold for $845 and one of his Cracked Ice cards brought $749 last week.
Trubisky also had the top-selling Leaf Metal Draft card; a 1/1 Superfractor auto sold for $750 via best offer. A State Pride 1/1 Gold card sold for $650.
Collectors have also spent money on former Stanford star Christian McCaffrey (Panthers), Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer and Texas Tech quarterback Pat Mahomes II, the son of fomer big league pitcher Pat Mahomes,who is headed for Kansas City. McCaffrey’s 1/1 Contenders Championship Ticket auto sold for $1,299 earlier this month. McCaffrey autos numbered to 23 or less have generally been in the $100-$250 range, just above the going rate for Kizer. Mahomes’ top selling card was the 1/1 Leaf Metal Superfractor at $400. Several of his Contenders autographs numbered to 23 or less have sold for over $100.
Collectors not quite confident enough to offer that kind of money on unproven talent can still grab non-serial numbered autographs of some players for a smaller investment–and base cards for a few dollars or less.
You can see a live list of the hottest 2017 NFL Draft pick cards at auction now in the list below.