After what some believe was the greatest single-season performance in college football history, there wasn’t much question which quarterback was the top prize in the 2020 NFL Draft. For sports card dealers, having another potential high pick and long-term star at the position was good news, too and the hunt for Joe Burrow rookie cards should keep collectors busy searching and sellers busy stocking even in a year with much uncertainty.
The Book on Burrow
Burrow’s college success didn’t come right away. After two years as an Ohio State backup, the former Gatorade Player of the Year transferred to LSU. Having graduated in three years, he made his two seasons of remaining eligibility count. In 2019, he won the Heisman Trophy, throwing for 5,600 yards and an NCAA record 60 TDs. His 202.0 passer rating for the season was also a record.
In LSU’s national championship victory over Clemson, Burrow threw for 463 yards and five touchdowns while running for another. His performance cemented him as the consensus choice as the top player in the 2020 draft.
While his first NFL licensed, pack-pulled rookie cards in a pro uniform will be the ones collectors eventually covet most, there were Burrow cards to chase ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. So far, collectors and speculators have not been shy about investing in “Joey B.”
It’s that moniker Burrow uses to sign autographs and he’s already scribbled it plenty of times. Panini America, Leaf and SAGE secured Burrow’s services to sign stickers that were placed on his first cards and hundreds have already made their way to eBay through box and case breaks.
Of course, for those who prefer more modest investments, there are base and parallel cards, too, along with scattered inserts.
Leaf Ultimate Draft, Metal Draft and Draft along with SAGE and Prizm products began populating the market after Burrow departed LSU. Notable sales included a Prizm Draft Green Ice Autograph numbered 17/18 that netted $1,900 and a Prizm Gold Ice Rookie Auto numbered to 7 that went for $1,200 via a Best Offer. The new owner will have to wait a bit to get the card in hand, but a 2019 Select Mystery Autograph Gold Prizm numbered to 10 found a home at $2,500. A 1/1 Prizm Black Ice dual autograph featuring Burrow and college teammate Justin Jefferson is currently up for auction and will blow all of those away.
Burrow’s top base card among the pre-Draft releases is Prizm Draft #105, which has been selling for $20-$30. Serial-numbered parallel versions, of course, will sell for significantly more. In addition to the standard boxes, Panini also offered a First Off The Line edition of Prizm Draft with exclusive parallels also generating some pretty strong early interest.
Burrow’s Bengals Rookie Cards
The first Burrow rookie card created by the NFL’s trading card partner came via Panini Instant with a photo from the NFL Combine. Single copies are typically less than $15.
Digital editing can be a beautiful thing when a pandemic makes it impossible to get actual photographs of a player actually wearing his pro uniform and after the draft, Panini went to work making it look like he had one on, preparing cards for products released during the season.
You can check out all of Joe Burrow’s early cards on eBay here and see a live list of the 50 most watched auctions below.