For the first time since 2019, the annual NFL Rookie Premiere will be held in person as Panini America looks to stock up on autographs and photos for use on its 2022 football cards.
Following two years as a virtual event, 42 top rookies from the 2022 NFL Draft will again gather in Los Angeles on May 19-21 to sign thousands of autographs and have a variety of photos taken while learning about the pro football business and potential endorsements.
The 28th annual Rookie Premiere is an important event for Panini America, which will be pushing out rookie cards and autographs form the 2021 draft class in the months that follow.
Hosted by the NFLPA and its marketing and licensing arm, NFL Players Inc., the annual event will feature the unveiling of each rookie’s official jersey presented by Fanatics and Saturday’s all-day live action and studio shoot for trading cards.
This year, 42 players will participate. Most are first or second round picks who will earn their paycheck on offense. Among the rookies expected to participate are Travon Walker, Aidan Hutchinson, Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Drake London, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Kyle Hamilton, Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, Malik Willis, Christian Watson and Matt Corral. Of the 42 players, all but four are receivers, quarterbacks or running backs. The full list can be found here.
“We’re excited to be back in person for the NFLPA Rookie Premiere. The event is a vital component for us and the trading card community as whole, as it gives us the ability to capture the top rookies in their uniforms for the first time,” said Jason Howarth, VP, Marketing, Panini America. “Following the Draft, we submit our list of who we view as the 40+ most collectable players to participate in the Rookie Photo Shoot and it sets the stage for our NFL/NFLPA trading card products for the year.”
Players are selected primarily by Panini America based on position, college performance, draft status and projected overall demand and marketability.